A Bittersweet Lesson - Sugar and Combustible Dust

From Chemical Info -

A Bittersweet Lesson

The Chemical Safety Board (CSB) reports that the sugar industry, in particular, has had a long love affair with both combustible dust and lackadaisical housekeeping methods. In fact, this trend dates as far back as 1925.
A Bittersweet Lesson | Chem.Info
Although Imperial Sugar may not be the lone offender of combustible dust crimes, it is perhaps the most memorable.

Don’t Sweep Safety Under the Rug
An Occupational Safety and Health Administration Fact Sheet titled:
Hazard Alert: Combustible Dust Explosions offers specific dust control recommendations to help protect your facility from a similar fate:
  • Implement a hazardous dust inspection, testing, housekeeping and control program.
  • Use proper dust collection systems and filters.
  • Minimize the escape of dust from process equipment or ventilation systems.
  • Use surfaces that minimize dust accumulation and facilitate cleaning.
  • Provide access to all hidden areas to permit inspection.
  • Inspect for dust residues at regular intervals.
  • If ignition sources are present, use cleaning methods that do not generate dust clouds, such as industrial vacuums, which are designed to contain dust.
  • Use only vacuum cleaners approved for dust collection.
  • Locate relief valves away from dust deposits.
Meanwhile, the CSB recommends strict adherence to the National Fire Protection Agency’s following standards:
  • NFPA 61: Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Dust Explosions in Agricultural and Food Processing Facilities.
  • NFPA 499: Recommended Practice for the Classification of Combustible Dusts and Hazardous (Classified) Locations for Electrical Installations in Chemical Process Areas.
  • NFPA 654: Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids.
  • NFPA 70, Article 500: Hazardous (Classified Locations).


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