Showing posts from 2014

Safety Awakenings Website - Free Safety Resources

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Claims, Cases, Lost Time and the Hidden Cost of Hazards


On Location: Koda Energy

Designing for Maximum Safety

Biomass Magazine - The Latest News on Biomass Power, Fuels and Chemical

On Location: Koda Energy Executive Editor Tim Portz paid a visit toeditorial board member Stacy Cook from Koda Energy to get a cover photo. He got a cover photo and a tour of Koda's new fuel receiving infrastructure, designed for maximum safety.
By Tim Portz | December 12, 2014

If you’ve heard me talk about Biomass Magazine for more than 10 minutes before, chances are you’ve heard me mention the role that our editorial board plays in the magazine’s planning and production. They truly are invaluable. This week, our team was in the middle of pulling the January
2015 together. I realized last week that so far we didn’t have a great cover option. No problem. Editorial board to the rescue.

I called Stacy Cook, VP and General Manager at Shakopee, Minnesota’s Koda Energy. Not only has Stacy has been a consistent participant on our monthly story pitch meetings for well over two years, his …

Wood Pellet Mill Explosion

Mill Explosion Injures Three | From Powder/Bulk Solids

Mill Explosion Injures ThreeOctober 13, 2014 Three mill workers were injured Thursday morning in an explosion at a wood pellet plant in northern British Columbia that was recently fined for "repeated" safety violations.

According to Leroy Reitsma, president of Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc., the incident happened at about 8am at a facility near Burns Lake operated by the company. Three workers were injured – one seriously.

The cause of the fire was unknown, but was said to have started inside a drying machine during a maintenance shutdown. An investigation is ongoing
Two fatal explosions in 2012 at the Burns Lake facility and one in Prince George were linked to combustible wood dust. It is not known if wood dust was the cause of Thursday’s explosion.

The plant was the site of another explosion in 2012. No one was injured in that incident, which occurred in a different area of the plant.

Pinnacle Renewable E…

Grain Dust Labeled a Hazardous Chemical

Grain and other Combustible Dusts are now Labeled as Hazardous Chemical


Grain Dust Labeled a Hazardous Chemical?Defending Agriculture New regulations mean dust at grain elevators may be treated like hazardous chemical release Published on: November 12, 2014 In late October the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued an opinion supporting the Occupational Safety and Health Administration on regulating businesses that handle and process grain and other agricultural products which create dust.

The case was a challenge to OSHA's revised Hazard Communication Standard, which in effect states that grain dust is a hazardous chemical. But you may want a little background on how the  Government's regulatory wheels spin before this makes much sense.

OSHA already sets workplace requirements for the control of grain dust which may create fires, explosions and safety hazards associated with grain handling facilities.  OSHA's present rule appli…

Spontaneous Combustion Destroys Grain Plant


Spontaneous Combustion Destroys Grain Plant Wed, 11/05/2014 - 1:26pm

— Investigators in western New York say spontaneous combustion of
animal feed started the fire that destroyed a large grain mill and
storage facility operated by Minnesota-based Land O' Lakes. Fire crews
from more than two dozen departments battled the fire that broke out
Saturday night at Commodity Resource Corp. in the Livingston County town
of Caledonia, 15 miles south of Rochester.

The company says the site is the largest dairy feed manufacturing
facility and dry fertilizer distribution center in the region. The plant
was closed at the time of the fire.

On Tuesday, Caledonia Deputy Chief John Murray told media outlets the
fire was caused by spontaneous combustion. That's the same thing that
sparked a September fire at a Cargill feed plant in Salem near the
Vermont border.

DC Circuit rejects challenge to OSHA Hazardous Communication Standard


DC Circuit rejects challenge to the revised OSHA Hazardous Communication Standard
From: Blog Gravel2Gavel Construction Law Blog
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Anthony B. Cavender
October 27 2014
Author page »
On October 24, 2014, the D.C. Circuit rejected a challenge to the revised OSHA Hazardous Communication Standard insofar as it applies to "combustible dust". The case is National Oilseed Processors Association, et al., v. Occupational Safety & Health Administration, et al.  The Standard was substantially revised in 2012 to conform with the Globally Harmonized System, a uniform international chemical labeling system. The Hazard Communication, 77 Fed. Reg. 17,574 (Mar. 26, 2012) ("Final Rule") designated "combustible dust" as a hazardous chemical subject to the
Standard, although OSHA has yet to develop a workplace standard addressing the hazards of combustible dust in the workplace. This decision may be of intere…

HazCom Rule Addresses Combustible Dust

Bloomberg BNA

"There is a “general consensus” on what constitutes combustible dust"

"The final rule, as well as a guidance document issued in 2013, “lay out reasonably consistent and
clear instructions” on how employers should decide whether they have a combustible dust hazard, the judge said."

HazCom Rule Can Address Combustible Dust, Court Says in Rejecting Industry Challenge
Monday, October 27, 2014 from Daily Labor Report®

Oct. 24 — A federal appeals court denied a petition Oct. 24 to vacate the Occupational Safety and
Health Administration's Hazard Communication Standard as it applies to combustible dust.

The petitioners argued that the Hazard Communication Standard—a final rule—should be vacated because OSHA failed to give adequate notice that combustible dust would be included in the rule and that combustible dust should instead be addressed in a pending rulemaking on the subject. They also told a three-member panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Dis…

OSHA Stalls on Combustible Dust, NFPA Prepares New Standards

From Composites Manufacturing Magazine

OSHA Stalls on Combustible Dust, but NFPA Prepares New StandardsSeptember 25, 2013
OSHA’s combustible dust rulemaking has been delayed, while the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is adding a new standard to address hazard  identification and control. These were key messages presented September  20 at a Small Business Administration event attend by ACMA staff.

The dust from grinding or cutting even highly filled composite laminates is  “combustible” when tested using OSHA’s approved test methods. OSHA has cited several composites manufacturers for failure to comply with the current version of NFPA Standard 654, notably for poor housekeeping and
locating cyclones and other dust collection equipment indoors.

Under OSHA’s National Emphasis Program for combustible dust, the agency is enforcing NFPA standards while it develops its own combustible dust rule. NFPA 654 is the standard for preventing fire and dust explosions …

Explosion, two-alarm fire at wood pellet manufacturer

Explosion, two-alarm fire damages Banks wood pellet manufacturerBy Everton Bailey Jr. |
on July 31, 2014 at 8:37 PM, updated August 01, 2014 at 6:16 AM 

A wood pellet manufacture in Banks closed for the day after an explosion and two-alarm fire damaged the business early Thursday.

Four employees safely escaped the fire at West Oregon Wood Products on Northwest Sunset Avenue, said Banks Fire District  Chief Brian Coussens. The official cause of the explosion and fire are
still under investigation. The business creates wood pellets for stoves.

The incident was reported about 3:15 a.m., and the business' president, Mike Knobel, said equipment related to air filtration in the pellet creation process is suspected to have caused the explosion.

Several pieces of production equipment sustained severe fire-related damages, Coussens said. The blaze was extinguished with no injuries.

Knobel said he was grateful to the responding firefighters and that millwrights were…

Idaho Wood Pellet Plant Burns to Ground | Firehouse

Wood Pellet Plant Burns to Ground in Idaho Kathy Hedberg On Aug 5, 2014
Source: Lewiston Tribune, Idaho

Aug. 05--GRANGEVILLE -- A wood pellet manufacturing building was destroyed by fire late Monday about a mile north of here along U.S. Highway 95.

The main production building owned by Rocky Canyon Pellet Company caught fire about 6 p.m. Monday, said Grangeville Rural Fire Chief Danny Tackett, and burned to the ground within less than three hours. The company makes pellets for wood stoves.

"It had a head start on us," Tackett said Monday night. "There was a lot of dust inside the building. It was an old building; it used to be an old horse barn."

This is the fourth time in the past eight or nine years, Tackett said, that the fire department has been called to a fire at the location.

Adjacent buildings, including a residence, were not harmed, he said, and no one was hurt in the fire. Equipment and stacks of pellets inside the building burned in the blaze, he s…

Three injured in wood pellet mill explosion

Three injured in Burns Lake wood pellet mill explosion (updated)By TIFFANY CRAWFORD and ROB SHAW, VANCOUVER SUNOctober 9, 2014 One man suffered third-degree burns and two other employees were injured in an explosion at a wood pellet plant in Burns Lake on Thursday. Leroy Reitsma, president of Pinnacle Renewable Energy plant said a "fire-related incident" happened at the Burns Lake mill, located on Highway 16 east of Burns Lake, at around 8 a.m. Photograph by: Pinnacle Renewable Energy, ...
One man suffered third-degree burns and two other employees were injured in an explosion at a wood pellet plant in Burns Lake on Thursday.

Leroy Reitsma, president of the Pinnacle Renewable Energy plant said a “fire-related incident” happened at the Burns Lake mill, located on Highway 16 east of Burns Lake, at about 8 a.m. He said the fire broke out inside of some equipment used to dry wood fibre and it caused an explosion.

Pinnacle has been fined on several occasions for safet…

OSHA Penalties Force Pet Food Manufacturer to Close

OSHA Standards, Penalties, Force Illinois Pet Food Manufacturer to Shutter Posted: October 15, 2014, 9:55 a.m. EDT
All-Feed Processing and Packaging Inc. can’t afford to pay the penalties OSHA has levied for numerous safety violations and is now closing its doors.

In May, the agency hit All-Feed with $254,000 in fines for exposing workers to combustible-dust and respiratory hazards.

"Having spent basically every penny that we have to come into compliance, there’s just nothing left for the citations, said Tim Anderson, owner of All-Feed, whose factory is located in Galva and main
office in Alpha, Ill.

The company will continue production for two or three months to fulfill existing contracts with its customers; however, the company won’t take on any new contracts, Anderson added.

All-Feed provides grinding, cleaning and packaging services to the pet-food industry, and it also offers R&D services such as granulation, dehydration, roasting and separation for new products or pac…

Tips to extinguish factory fire risks

5 tips to extinguish factory fire risks

From PropertyCasualty360

5 tips to extinguish factory fire risks Oct 13, 2014 | By Caterina Pontoriero

Last week was National Fire Prevention Week, which commemorates the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 that killed an estimated 300 people, left 100,000 homeless, and destroyed more than 17,000 structures. In honor of Fire Prevention Week, Zurich presents tips to prevent factory fires.

A factory fire can spell devastating consequences for a company and its employees. A fire at a factory or manufacturing facility can result in loss of life, injured workers, loss of wages from a factory shutdown, and production downtime. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), property losses at U.S. factories total nearly $1billion each year.

Factory fires can be caused by three common factors: hot work, combustible dust, or hydraulic fluid leaks. "Hot work" is defined as any process that can be a source of ignition when flammable material…

Biomass is more highly regulated than most people realize

US Industrial Pellet Association conference wraps with impassioned producer panel


USIPA conference wraps with impassioned producer panel By Tim Portz | October 03, 2014

From L to R: Seth
Ginther, Executive Director of the U.S. Industrial Pellet Association,
Morten Neraas, President and CEO Green Circle, and Harold Arnold,
President of Fram Renewable Fuels.
Tim Portz, BBI International

The 2014 Export Pellets Conference concluded with a panel comprised of a selection of the producer members of the U.S. Industrial Pellet Association, moderated by the organization’s executive director, Seth Ginther.

The session began with brief updates from each of the producers about their accomplishments and activities from the previous year.

Joining the panel for the first time and introducing himself to the conference delegation was E-Pellets Group CEO Doug Albrecht. E-Pellets recently acquired the formally boarded up Louisiana Pacific OSB mill in Athens, Georgia, to conve…

Grain Dust Explosion

Dust Explosion Injures 4
Mon, 09/15/2014 - 10:20am FELICIA FONSECA, Associated Press 
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Flames from welding equipment touched off a grain-dust explosion at a Nestlé Purina plant in Flagstaff Sunday, burning two workers severely and leaving two others with less serious burns, authorities said.

The four contractors were welding about 5 p.m. on the fifth floor of the complex's seven-story grain elevator when their torches sparked grain dust and set off the blast, Flagstaff Fire Department Capt. Bill Morse said.

One man was severely burned and taken by air ambulance to the Arizona Burn Center at Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix, and another man with severe burns was transported by ground ambulance to the same center, Morse said.

A third man suffered moderate burns and was taken to the Flagstaff Medical Center, while another man with less serious burns was treated and released from the center, Morse said.

The explosion did not produce a long-lasting fire but …

OSHA’s Increased Enforcement of Facilities with Combustible Dusts Hazards | The National Law Review

Published on The National Law Review (

OSHA’s Increased Enforcement of Facilities with Combustible Dusts Hazards By Heidi P. Knight

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) continues to
issue citations for alleged violations of various general industry standards (such as general housekeeping and electrical standards) and Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the General Duty Clause (“GDC”), for alleged workplace exposure to fire and/or explosion hazards from “combustible dust,” despite the lack of a clear and comprehensive general industry standard governing employers’ handling of combustible dusts.

Definition of “Combustible Dust” Although there is no single, universally accepted definition of “combustible dust,” nor a standard method for sampling dust to determine its combustibility, OSHA has defined “combustible dust” in at least one rulemaking document to include “all combustible parti…

CSB Investigation Warns of Dust Explosion Risk at Recycling Facilities

VIDEO: CSB Investigation Warns of Dust Explosion Risk at Recycling Facilities from Waste Management World

VIDEO: CSB Investigation Warns of Dust Explosion Risk at Recycling Facilities
18 July 2014

Managing Editor

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has released its final report, safety recommendations and accompanying safety video into a fatal combustible dust explosion at the AL Solutions metal recycling facility in New Cumberland, West Virginia.

As presented to the Board for a vote at a public meeting in Charleston, the report reiterates a recommendation that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) promulgate a general industry combustible dust standard, which CSB said it has been calling for since its 2006 study on these preventable accidents.

The December 9, 2010 accident at the AL Solutions metal recycling facility, which milled and processed scrap titanium and zirconium metal, killed three employees and injured a contractor.
The CSB said t…