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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Imperial Sugar Supports Dust Standard Creation

Imperial Sugar Supports Dust Standard Creation

Imperial Sugar Supports Dust Standard Creation | Imperial Sugar ...
By isc
Imperial will, as it has since the explosion in Port Wentworth, continue to be a strong supporter of the creation of a rigorous common combustible dust standard for all industries. Those who resist a standard on the issue of cost alone ...
Imperial Sugar Company Online Newsroom - http://www.iscnewsroom.com/

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Special Report: ComDust update

From Woodworking Network and Modern Woodworking Magazine, a new article from our friend Jamison Scott at Air Handling Systems, titled: Explosive: Combustible dust issue.  This is a good primer on combustible dust with illustrations, including current legislative efforts you should be aware of , additional resources, and other related articles.

If your company processes wood flour, or produces fine particles of wood dust during machining operations, you have the potential for a combustible dust explosion.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Safety Tip of the Week - Combustible Dust

Safety Video of the week: Combustible Dust.
From our friends at Canadian Occupational Safety.

Safety Tip of the Week - Combustible Dust
How to avoid deadly explosions from combustible dust.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fire suppression system douses fire at power plant in Kenosh

This story is a good example of the result in being proactive in preventing dust collector fires!

The fire was extinguished before the fire department arrived.  The result - no injuries, minimal down time, fire department goodwill, and preserved reputation in industry and the community.

(Note however, that we were not involved in the protection of this particular plant)

Fire suppression system douses fire at power plant in Kenosh

fox6now.com A fire at the power plant in Pleasant Prairie in Kenosha County was knocked down by a fire suppression system. This, according to officials with We Energies. More... (Industry News)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Industries tell OSHA officials that regulating dust can be complex, expensive | The Augusta Chronicle

The 5 Points of discussion for the OSHA Combustible Dust Stakeholder Meeting February 17, 2010 Atlanta, Georgia:

1. NFPA Standards - Benefits and challenges.  Should they be used as OSHA Standards or compliance alternatives?
2. Scope - What facilites and combustible dusts should be covered or not, and on what technical basis?
3. Economic Impact - Costs and benefits of proposed rules and regulatory approaches? 
4. Hazard Mitigation - Where and how engineering and administrative controls are applied, methods of analysis?
5. Additional topics - questions, comments, topics.


12 Lessons learned from the OSHA Combustible Dust Stakeholder Meeting February 17, 2010 1:00pm Session:

1. The lack of participation by local and regional companies affected by the new OSHA Combustible Dust Standard, and other industry professionals is perplexing.
2. There is no deadline for creating the new OSHA Combustible Dust Standard.
3. Generally defining Combustible Dust industry wide is a very complex issue.
4. Existing NFPA and other Combustible Dust definitions typically rely on bulk density, i.e. a specific thickness of dust layer, without considering other combustibility features of the dust.
5. Protecting a dust collector from explosion is the same cost whether you have a small or large company.
6. Uniform testing standards are needed for certain protection devices.
7. There is not enough key front line employee participation in the standards development and implementation process, as these employee's generally have valuable input to process upset conditions and causes.
8. There needs to be a baseline prescriptive standard, but also performance based engineered standards because of the complexity of various dusts and industries.
9. Migrating dust must also be taken into consideration, not just the initial process dust.
10. Industry education is lacking. OSHA can help educate industry by collecting and disseminating combustible dust fire and explosion news.
11. OSHA can help educate industry by identifying system failures that contribute to citations.
12. Major keys to safety are containment of fugitive dust, housekeeping, and personal protection equipment and clothing.

-Jeff Nichols

Industries tell OSHA officials that regulating dust can be complex, expensive


ATLANTA -- Representivies from a variety of industries told federal safety officials today that regulating the danger of combustible dust can be complicated and expensive for businesses.
The U. S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is holding the second of a series of roundtable discussions with industry volunteers as it considers drafting regulations. It started the process last year in response to congressional reaction to a dust explosion at Imperial Sugar's Port Wentworth mill near Savannah that killed 14 workers two years ago. Many of the victims were brought to Augusta for burn treatment.
Dorothy Dougherty, director of standards guidance at the agency, said there is no date set for when regulations would be drafted.
"We have to take our time," she said.
Most of the comments cautioned against applying too strict of a standard to every industry, from food processing to sand blasting to coal dust at neighborhood print shops.
"If I spill a gallon of gas in the middle of this room, we're all going to head for the exists. It I drop a bag of flour, we aren't," said Thomas Lawrence of RRS/Schrimer of Ballwin, Mo..
Cost estimates for compliance ranged from $2,000 to test dust for combustibility to as much as $30 million to upgrade a power plant.
Brian Edwards of Tucker, Ga.-based Conversion Technology warned that many costs are the same for specific machinery regardless of business size.
"If a company has to put in explosion-suppression equipment, it's going to cost the same whether it's a Fortune 100 company or a mom-and-pop shop, and that's hundreds of thousands of dollars," he said.

Grain Group Urges Exemptions for OSHA Dust Standard
Safety.BLR.com
NGFA expressly opposed harmonizing the grain-handling standard with any general industry combustible dust standard that may be developed. ...

Teamsters And Steelworkers Report Hazards Of Combustible Dust ...
In addition to members of the Teamsters Union, the Steelworkers also represent a large portion of workers who are potentially exposed to combustible dust. ...
Atlanta Attorney Speaks During OSHA Meeting
dBusinessNews Atlanta (press release)
As part of its rulemaking process for the proposed Combustible Dust Standard, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration has solicited comments from
Industries tell OSHA officials that regulating dust can be complex ...
Savannah Morning News
Attorney Howard Mavity, of the Atlanta firm Fisher & Phillips, said he often visits factories that generate combustible dust operated by his clients, ...

Here are the meeting notes from the December 14, 2009 Stakeholder meeting in Washington DC:
http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#docketDetail?R=OSHA-2009-0023Posted by Brian Edwards, PE, Conversion Technology, Inc.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Combustible Dust Hazards and Dust Explosions - Short Course from ASME

Combustible Dust Hazards and Dust Explosions - Short Course
Familiarize yourself with the knowledge and tools you will need to examine your workplace for the hazards, assess protection needs, and to comply with the ...

To Avoid OSHA Citation, Firms Must Deal with Dust

Good Comments form Perry Bennett, Health, Safety and Environmental director at Molded Fiber Glass Companies. He spoke to COMPOSITES 2010 attendees about mitigating and controlling combustible dusts in FRP processes.
To Avoid OSHA Citation, Firms Must Deal with Dust | Composites2010
By CM Magazine
Dust may seem innocuous, but it can cast an expensive cloud on manufacturing facilities. The accumulation of suspended, combustible sugar dust can spark...
Composites2010 - http://www.composites2010.com/

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Combustible Dust: What You Need to Know | Material Handling Management Online

Combustible Dust: What You Need to Know | Material Handling Management Onlin

Here is a good primer (no pun intended) on Combustible Dust in manufacturing processes from Material Handling Management, Online by Michael A. Maxwell, Griffin Filters.  It explains some of the chemical process involved in a fire, heat and gas generation, and the flame front and pressure wave dynamics in a deflagration or explosion, as well as dust hazard reduction and OSHA compliance.

Combustible Dust: What You Need to Know | Material Handling ...
Prepare for OSHA's new combustible dust standard by learning about dust explosions and how to prevent them.