Showing posts from November, 2013


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…