Showing posts from 2013

Are Spices Flammable?

Is Cinnamon Flammable? - Science - ChefSteps

Made from the dried bark of Cinnamomum verum, a tree indigenous to Sri Lanka, cinnamon's exotic perfume and subtle flavor come from its two major components: cinnamaldehyde and eugenol. These two chemicals are volatile, meaning they readily vaporize at temperatures comfortable to humans, which is in fact why cinnamon is so fragrant. But those same vapors are also highly combustible (indeed, combustion only happens in the presence of vapors), making cinnamon a highly flammable material under the right conditions.

Now a cloud of cinnamon dust isn’t the kind of thing most people would consider dangerous, but add enough heat and you’ll quickly have an expanding ball of fire known as a dust explosion. For dealing with this situation, we can only recommend a good pair of running shoes. In fact, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration issues warnings about cinnamon explosions in food manufacturing plants. Here, w…

Grain Bin Hazards and Safety Precautions

From Westfield Insurance Grains of Knowledge blog, this post focuses on the hazards associated with grain bins, including key precautions that can be taken to reduce workers’ risks while performing duties in, and around, grain bins and grain dust.

Ag Safety: Grain Bin Hazards and Safety Precautions - Grains of Knowledge

Ag Safety: Grain Bin Hazards and Safety PrecautionsThis post is the first in a series on agricultural safety that will educate readers about the risks associated with various farming and agribusiness jobs, as well as offer helpful tips for reducing and preventing hazards at your family or business operation.

Being a part of the farming and agribusiness industry can be greatly rewarding. In the U.S., families and businesses supply essential produce and consumer goods, support economic growth and contribute to the legacy of American farming.

Members of the agriculture community are aware that certain jobs and farming duties can be more hazardous than others. Fro…

Best Engineering Practice in Biomass Industry


Why Do Root Cause Analysis?

Root Cause Analysis Tip: Why Do Root Cause Analysis?

From Taproot Blog, and Systems Improvements, Inc.

Have you thought about why you do root cause analysis? What is your purpose? I ask because many people go through the motions of root cause analysis without asking this essential question.
For most people, the purpose of root cause analysis is to learn to stop major accidents by finding the root causes of accidents and fixing them. Obviously, we must analyze the root causes of fatalities and serious injuries. But waiting for a serious accident to prevent a fatality or serious injury is like shutting the barn door after the cow has escaped.

Instead of waiting for a major accident, we need to learn from smaller incidents that warn us about a big accident just around the corner. Thus, root cause analysis of these significant warning events is a great idea.

The same philosophy applies to other types of adverse events that you want to prevent. Quality issue…


Improperly grounded vacuum ignites combustible dust explosion

Static charge caused explosion in Woburn Tuesday - Woburn, MA - Woburn Advocate

Woburn, MA — An explosion Tuesday that critically injured a worker in East Woburn was caused by an electrical charge that triggered a dust explosion, State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan, Woburn Interim Director of Fire and Emergency Services Robert DiPoli, and Woburn Police Chief Robert Ferullo, Jr. said in a joint statement released today.

An employee was using an improperly grounded vacuum to clean machinery when a build-up of static charge inside the vacuum ignited the dust, causing an explosion and subsequent small fire, officials said.

One man was critically injured and airlifted to a Boston hospital by MedFlight shortly after the first emergency call came in at 12:27 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 5. A worker from a neighboring company attempting to help the man suffered minor injuries, and a police officer was also treated as a precaution.

Powderpart uses metal powders and a 3-D printing process th…

Managing Combustible Dust & Safety Concerns in Biomass/Wood Pellet Industry

Managing Combustible Dust and Safety Concerns in Biomass/Wood Pellet Industry

By Jeff Griffin, Fauske and Associates, LLC

I had the chance to go the USIPA (US Industrial Pellet) conference this week in Miami. Aside from being a great location for a show, it was fascinating to hear how the wood pellet/biomass industry has been growing in the USA and Europe and to hear how companies are ramping up to increase production. Though the Biomass industry is relatively new, this year they had production of 10 MT alone and world demand for wood pellets is supposed to increase more than threefold by 2030.(1) Much of the production to meet this need will be in the US and Canada.

With such rapid growth, there are significant concerns about safety, both for workers and for the processes itself. Several of the speakers referenced how wood pellet production is a ‘new’ art. Unlike the Chemical industry, which has well defined processes and hazard mitigation, the pellet industry is still dev…

Remembering Trevor Kletz

Published on Nov 5, 2013 CSB video excerpts from Dr. Trevor Kletz, a world renowned expert in chemical process safety, who died October 31, 2013.

Conversion Technology engineers to wear FRC when conducting Combustible Dust Hazard Analysis

CTI EHS Blog: Conversion Technology engineers to wear FRC when conducting Combustible Dust Hazard Analysis

From Brian Edwards
Conversion Technology engineers to wear FRC when conducting Combustible Dust Hazard Analysis Flame resistant clothing (FRC) has been used for years in a number of industries to protect workers from flash fires, arc flash, embers, molten metal, and other potential sources of ignition to clothing.  The reason FRC is so important is that many fatalities have occurred because a worker's clothing has caught on fire, exposing him/her to burning heat for a much longer time than would have occurred during the initial event (e.g. arc flash, vapor flash fire).

When looking at burn victims, there is a "magic" number - well, more accurately, a statistically relevant number - that predicts if the victim has a better chance of surviving ... or dying.  This number is 50%.  Meaning, when the percent of a person's body with 2nd or 3rd degree burns e…

Combustible Dust Explosions Common to Baghouses

From our friends at BS&B and

Introduction to Combustible Dust Explosions Common to Baghouses

Guest Post By Bevin Sequeira
BS&B Safety Systems (Asia Pacific) Pte Ltd. 
Introduction to Dust Explosions
A Dust Explosion is the fast combustion of dust particles suspended in the air in an enclosed location. Coal dust explosions are a frequent hazard in underground coal mines, but dust explosions can occur where any powdered combustible material is present in an enclosed atmosphere or, in general, in high enough concentrations of dispersed combustible particles in atmosphere.

Dust explosion at West Pharmaceutical Services, North Carolina took the lives of 6 people in 2003.
Dust explosions can lead to loss of life, injury, damage property and environmental damage as well as consequential damage such as business interruption losses.

Dust explosions involve most common…

Top Ten Business Safety Tips from Loss Prevention Expert

Top Ten Business Safety Tips from Gowrie Group's Safety and Loss Prevention Expert - Press Release - Digital Journal

(PRWEB) September 30, 2013
Gowrie Group, one of the nation's Top 100 independent insurance agencies, provides timely information on how to best protect businesses and organizations from losses. Our safety team focuses on helping clients decrease their liabilities and exposures to fines, lawsuits, negative press, and employee complaints. Gowrie's Top 10 series offer practical, smart advice to help build safer workplaces and improve OSHA standards.

Top Ten Gowrie Group Safety & Loss Prevention Tips:

#1 Fire Extinguishers. Fire extinguishers must be easily accessible, with a clearance of 18" on both sides and 36" in front of the extinguisher. OSHA can fine up to $7,000 for a blocked extinguisher. For more, see OSHA #1910.175

#2 Respirators. If you have been issued a respirator, remember that it should be kept in a sealed container when it…