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Monday, January 11, 2010

Managing Combustible Dust Hazards in Die Casting Operations

NADCA's Free Online Training Could Save Lives
Due to recent tragedy involving a fire fighter, the North American Die Casting Association (NADCA) is urging manufacturers to take advantage of its free online training on combustible dust hazards.

Volunteer firefighter, Steven Koeser, of St. Anna, WI, U.S. lost his life on December 30, 2009 due to an explosion that occurred from pouring water into a dumpster at a local foundry.

“Management in metalcasting operations around the country needs to continually train their employees and their local firefighters on the proper way to fight a foundry fire. Education is key to saving lives and protecting people from debilitating injuries,” says Daniel L. Twarog, NADCA president.

NADCA offers free online training on Combustible Dust hazards as well as Metal Melting and Handling, which can be found at www.diecasting.org/training. As a die casting industry, NADCA believes it is imperative to educate not only employees but also those who may come in contact with such hazards. NADCA advises spreading information on this potentially lifesaving training to local fire departments.

Combustible Dust Explosions & Fires in the Die Casting Industry

  • Common Causal Factors:
    - Design flaws in ventilation system
    - Lack of hazard assessment
    - Lack of prevention & mitigation
  • May cause explosion when:
    - Dispersed in air or other oxidant
    - Concentration is at or above minimum explosible concentration
    - Ignition source is present
    - Dust is confined
  • Explosions can cause major damage and even trigger secondary explosions                     

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