OSHA, NFPA to Progress on Combustible Dust Standards
June 28, 2016
2016 could be a major year for combustible dust standards.
In June, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) starts its first revision cycle of NFPA 652, the organization’s newly introduced combustible dust standard for general industry. Later this fall, the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is preparing to hold a panel examining impacts of a proposed OSHA
combustible dust standard on small businesses – the first major event in its combustible dust rulemaking process to be scheduled since 2010.
This year, the level of interest and the character of comments in the NFPA’s 652 revision process and OSHA’s proposed panel could significantly shape discussions on - and development of - both entities’ combustible dust activities in 2017 and beyond.
To read Powder & Bulk Solids' exlusive feature on combustible dust standards in 2016, CLICK HERE.
Fires and explosions needlessly kill and injure employees and damage billions of dollars worth of property and goods every year. Here are steps you can take to keep your business from going up in smoke.
William Fries admits he was shocked. Fries, director, property services, Loss Prevention Department, Liberty Mutual Group, thought he had seen and heard it all during his time with the company, but this was a new one.
During a routine inspection, he asked a safety director at a pulp and paper mill if it had a frequency problem with fires. He was relieved to hear that the company had never had a big fire.
His happiness was short-lived as the safety director went on to explain that once a week, a certain machine would cause a dust explosion, a small flash fire. The safety director tried to reassure Fries, telling him that the vigilant machine operator had a garden hose standing by and he "takes care of it."
"What if the operator was on break? What if he went to lunch or the bathroom when the flash fire occurred? That small controllable fire could take the entire plant down," said Fries, his voice rising with disbelief. "Those kinds of stories really shake me up."
Experts agree that there is no such beast as a fireproof facility. Too many elements are involved to make those kinds of claims. A host of factors -- building design and materials, machinery, wiring, fire suppression systems, emergency response programs, alarm systems, inspection and testing of fire response equipment and systems, chemicals on site, training, housekeeping, end products -- can work alone or combine to impact on fire resistance and prevention. But there are a number of ways, said Fries, to avoid courting disaster like the safety director at the pulp and paper mill.
Protection and Prevention
Protection ensures that a minor event, a small containable fire in a trash can, for example does not turn into a catastrophic event which can devastate a business, the lives of workers and a community. Prevention ensures that the trash can fire does not ignite in the first place.
Fries cites one example of such an event: An electric eraser used by drafters at one company was stored in such a way that the nose of the eraser pressed against the side of the drawer. The contact caused the eraser to switch on and vibrate. The constant friction caused the eraser to overheat and
start a fire which spread throughout the room, fueled by the stacks of papers and plans used by the drafters.
"If that eraser had been properly stored, that fire would never have occurred," noted Fries. "Fires usually start small. Processes become so familiar that the workers lose respect for them, become a little bit careless, and that's all it takes."
The answer, said Fries, is prevention. Experts focus on several aspects of prevention -- good housekeeping, good work habits, employee training and workplace inspection -- as ways to avoid minor events and major catastrophes. According to figures from Factory Mutual, three-fifths of
fires and nearly three-fourths of property damage could be avoided through preventive maintenance and frequent inspection and testing of equipment and electrical systems; taking proper safety precautions during maintenance operations; and using caution around open flames.
"Many of the fires we've responded to were due to inadequate work practices -- such as cutting and welding operations without a fire watch [keeping a close watch on an area in which hot work has been conducted for several hours after the work has been completed]. Others were at areas which
weren't cleaned up, did not have flammables and combustibles properly stored or had grease or oil-soaked floors," said Scott Dornen, a fire chief at Atlantic Richfield Co.'s (ARCO) Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, facility and a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs.
According to Dornen, such incidents at his location have declined in recent years due to several factors. At the height of construction on the Alaska pipeline, ARCO had as many as 120 contractor companies on site, all with different safety policies and procedures. Many of those companies are
gone, and with less construction and fewer operations and employees, the opportunities for fires and explosions have diminished.
"It's the difference between the number of fires in a city of 100,000 people versus a city of 1 million people," noted Dornen.
He added that many of the companies with which ARCO now contracts have improved their maintenance, inspection and housekeeping, in part because of the high standards ARCO maintains for its own operations.
For example, before new facilities are constructed at ARCO or a new process undertaken, the building plans go through an extensive design review which includes the use of a 1-to-24 inch scale model. All engineering controls to prevent and protect against fire and explosion are examined.
Dornen helps review the layout of fixed protection, such as sprinkler and alarm systems, to make sure it is more than adequate to meet the challenges of the operations planned for that facility. The scale models help Dornen and the safety department, with whom he closely works, look for things like blocked emergency exits, dead-end aisles and walkways, locations of storage areas for chemicals and inventory which are away from potential ignition sources, and emergency escape routes. Through
the use of such models, they can also examine the placement of fire walls and doors to make sure that fires can be contained in specific areas.
Building in Fire Safety
In addition to planning fire safety into the design of new facilities and processes, experts suggest a close evaluation of the materials used to construct new buildings and/or maintain older ones. Determining the fire protection factors for buildings and materials can seem daunting, but
James Martin, a property team leader with the Loss Control Group, ITT Hartford Group, notes that many business insurers are willing to advise their clients about fire prevention and protection.
He offers up this list of questions that safety professionals, building engineers and emergency response personnel need to be able to answer about their workplace:
What are the structural building materials?
Are the walls, ceilings and floors, furniture, floor coverings and window treatments fire-resistant?
Do they meet or exceed current NFPA, Underwriters Laboratories and industry standards, as well as state and federal codes?
Are the fire suppression systems adequate to meet the needs of the facility and the potential hazards?
Is the local water supply adequate to meet the needs of the sprinkler system and emergency responders?
Are there adequate, properly marked emergency exits?
Are there fire walls and doors to prevent or slow the spread of fire from one area to the next?
Other suggestions from Martin include: surveying employees to make sure they know what to do in case of fire; having a yearly training session which includes employees and emergency responders from the facility and community; asking contractors about their loss control practices and using contractors who have demonstrated safe work practices; and not only inspecting sprinklers and alarms weekly, but also testing them on a regular basis.
"I've seen situations where the water supply was shut off at the street, but the sprinklers still showed water pressure on the inside valves. Anyone inspecting that system would think it was working. If they tested it, they would discover there was no water," said Martin.
He said that alarm systems should be hooked up to emergency generators as well as the central power source. It's not inconceivable that in a fire or other emergency situation, the main electrical system would shut down.
He also suggested using extreme caution when conducting maintenance operations which involve
drilling holes in ceilings and floors. Any pipe chases which travel between floors must be properly sealed with a fire retardant material. Otherwise, they provide a perfect opportunity for a fire to jump from floor to floor and engulf an entire building.
Finally, said Martin, get upper management involved and proactive about fire safety. If management focuses attention and resources on fire prevention and proactive maintenance, employees will understand that fire safety, good maintenance and housekeeping are important parts of their jobs.
The True Cost of Fire
While no one wants to suffer through a fire, management might balk at some of the expenses associated with fire prevention and protection, cautioned experts. The cost of emergency response drills, building scale models, providing employee training, purchasing state-of-the-art fire protection
systems and materials for new buildings and retrofitting older buildings with fire suppression systems can be high. But experts agree that it is money well spent.
Figures from the National Fire Protection Association show that each year, some 85,000 fires occur in the workplace, causing an annual average of 89 deaths to employees and customers and a whopping $1.856 billion in direct property damage. And that does not take indirect costs, which can
double or triple the damage amount, into consideration.
"The cost of a fire or explosion is much greater than the dollar amount of the damage," explained Mark Blank, engineering team leader, Factory Mutual System, Chicago. "Imagine a group of sales people about to sign a big production deal who are left hanging because the production line
had to shut down as a result of a fire and they can't promise a delivery date. It could take years to build back the business that is lost when buyers turn to other suppliers."
He said that he has seen more than one corporation relocate operations from burned-out facilities to other facilities rather than rebuild, and has seen companies take insurance payments and rebuild in other cities or states where the costs of doing business are lower.
"I've seen companies with only one facility go out of business because between the lost business and production downtime and the amount of the loss which they couldn't recover through insurance, they couldn't afford to rebuild. Plus, mortgage bills and tax bills keep coming in, even when production is stopped," said Blank.
By all means, said Blank, purchase insurance. But, he added, the best insurance is prevention.
"The U.S. has the highest fire incidence rate of any country in the world and the smallest regard for fire. We tell kids not to play with fire and matches, but as adults, we seem to forget why it's a bad idea. It's sad because fires would not occur if people would just take the time to take precautions to prevent them," he said.
COST-SAVING WAYS TO SAVE LIVES
Not all fire prevention strategies involve expensive equipment or extensive remodeling.
According to Lawrence Oldendorf, who has 40 years experience in fire protection and prevention and is president of Fire and Safety Engineering Services, Burbank, Ill., one of the least expensive and most effective ways to prevent fires is through good housekeeping techniques.
According to him, as many as 90 percent of all fires are caused or fueled by unneeded combustibles. While combustibles can include oil-soaked rags and trash, it goes much further than that.
"Extra packing boxes stored in the wrong place -- close to ignition sources -- are combustibles. Chemicals stored near work areas instead of in flame-and explosion-resistant drums and cabinets are combustibles," said Oldendorf. "Bottles of alcohol stored on every desk in a cleanroom are
He noted that while it is easier to store bottles of cleaners and chemicals close to work sites, it is a dangerous practice. It is also dangerous to store containers of flammable, reactive and explosive chemicals in shipping cartons, unless the containers or cartons are flame-resistant. "Storage boxes are inexpensive and storage cabinets can be expensive," said Oldendorf, "but the cost of a fire is much more expensive."
To cut down on costs, he suggests keeping extra inventory of flammables to a minimum. Less storage space is needed, said Oldendorf, and potential fuel sources for a fire are decreased.
Other suggestions from Oldendorf include:
Clean up oil and chemical spills immediately, and keep work areas free of any extra paper, boxes or rags.
Don't string electrical cords across floors or walkways where they can be stepped on and frayed, opening your facility up to the possibility of an electrical fire.
De-energize machinery before any maintenance work is started and thoroughly inspect that equipment before the power is turned back on.
Keep tools which cause friction or sparks away from areas where explosive and flammable materials are present.
If temporary scaffolding or partitions are erected, make sure they are metal or made with materials treated with flame retardants.
Use a temporary sprinkler system in areas where hot work is being conducted or for areas being used to temporarily store flammable materials.
Train employees in the various sounds made by the alarm system and what action they need to take when an alarm sounds.
Invite outside emergency responders into the facility and educate them about hazards. Have an emergency plan in place and conduct a full-fledged emergency response drill at least once a year.
Routinely inspect and test fire extinguishers and check that all exit and direction signs provide correct information, are in place and are well-lit even during a power outage.
TAKE THE HEAT OFF
Hot work is the cause of hundreds of industrial fires annually. Most are quickly contained. Some fires snuff themselves out before employees even know they occurred, while others destroy facilities and ruin lives.
Mark Blank, engineering team leader at Factory Mutual System's Chicago office, said that the biggest challenge he faces is making people understand the concept of "hot" work.
"People don't have fires every day. They think that it won't happen to them, that they don't do anything which could contribute to a fire," said Blank.
What they don't understand is that any time they have open flames, sparks or hot surfaces, they
have a potential fire hazard. Cutting torches, propane torches, welding and grinding operations, portable drills and internal combustion engines are all ignition sources. Throw in some fuel, wood, paper, rags, oil, chemicals, alcohol, gasoline, and it is a fire waiting to happen, said Blank.
"A cutting torch can reach 2,000 degrees. That's plenty hot to ignite just about anything," he commented.
Any time a maintenance operation involving cutting, grinding or welding is undertaken, he suggests conducting a step-by-step review of the process.
First, look for alternatives. Does a joint have to be welded or can it be bolted? Does a bolt have to be drilled out or can it be cut off using hydraulic shears?
If alternatives do not exist, take the operation to another area whenever possible, one which is outside the facility or in an isolated area away from fuel sources and employees.
If the operation cannot be moved, don't allow the process to be conducted until a permit is issued which verifies that the location of the work has been properly prepared.
Preparation for hot work is extensive, noted Blank. A 35-foot distance is needed between the hot work and combustibles. Anything which cannot be moved should be covered with a welding tarp. If the work is being conducted in a building made of materials which can burn, then the walls, floors and possibly ceilings in the area need to be covered or treated with flame retardants.
Check that pipe chases are properly sealed so that sparks cannot fall between floors and ceilings or back in walls. Many types of dust can burn or explode; eliminate or clean dust hazards before beginning hot work. If the work is conducted in a room with an operation involving flammable liquids, remove any containers of flammables and purge all equipment of traces of flammable liquid.
"You have to understand that you are bringing a very hazardous operation into a place not suited for it," said Blank, comparing it to lighting a cigarette in a dynamite factory.
Once the hot work is completed, the work is not over. At least one person needs to be designated as a fire watch. He or she stands guard over the area for an hour to watch for smoke or flames; makes sure that no flammables are brought back into the area; and checks that the area remains closed off
until the threat of a stray spark or flame has passed. The area should continue to be closely monitored -- inspected every 20 minutes or so -- for an additional 3 hours. For that reason, Blank suggests doing hot work at the beginning of the day or at the beginning of shifts. He also suggests assigning an employee to be a fire watch even if the work is conducted by an outside contractor.
"An outside contractor might be very competent in his line of work, but not very knowledgeable about fire protection and hazards at the facility. The contractor might have different priorities and might just think that it's costing him money to have one of his people stand watch rather than work on another job," said Blank. He said he encourages building owners to retain the responsibility for providing a fire watch and permitting the area for hot work.
"People don't understand the risk that exists. It might take less time to take a cutting torch to a pipe, but there is a much greater potential exposure. You have to ask: Is it safe? If the answer is no, then don't do it," counseled Blank.
EMPLOYEE FIRE TRAINING
In the event of fire, response needs to be safe and speedy.
Employees should be trained to do the following:
Count the number of doors, machines or desks between their work areas and the nearest exit. During a fire, they might need to find their way out in the dark.
Learn the location of alternative exits from all work areas.
Know the location of the nearest fire alarm and learn how to use it.
Post emergency phone numbers on or near all phones.
Be sure that someone in authority knows about any disability that could delay an escape and makes plans for a safe evacuation.
Post building evacuation plans and discuss them during new-employee orientations.
Conduct regular fire drills.
Include disabled employees in the fire emergency planning process.
Train designated employees in the use of portable fire extinguishers and designate employees who will help evacuate fire scenes.
An excellent webinar on the new NFPA 652 Standard:
NFPA 652 - Dust Hazard Analysis
Join DEKRA Insight’s David Kaelin for an insightful look into NFPA
652. This webinar will provide management and supervisors with the
insight necessary to complete a dust hazard analysis and identify those
areas within the equipment, operations, processes, and activities that
could lead to dust explosions. View the webinar - presented by David Kaelin
Auditing: The Importance of Being Effective and Efficient with Your Audit Management
This webinar discusses the impact effective audit management has on
safety functioning. We share practical tools and knowledge that you can
apply in your organization. View the webinar
Requirements for a Robust Basis of Safety
This webinar outlines the generic procedure to ensure that safety
measures are reliably specified and that adequate process safety data is
available on which the Basis of Safety is founded. View the webinar - presented by Stephen Rowe
Top Ten Myths on Ignition Sources
Situations in which ignition sources are inadequately controlled are
still frequently identified despite the introduction of European
regulations for explosive atmospheres This webinar focuses on the things
the plant personnel really need to know about ignition sources. View the webinar - presented by John Butcher
The Prevention of Accidental Workplace Fires and Explosions
Every day a fire or explosion breaks out in an industrial setting
somewhere in the world. The yearly cost to companies is in the billions,
and the risk of injury or even death is very real. In this webinar, we
explore the technical, management and leadership issues you need to know
to prevent an explosion or fire. View the webinar - presented by Lisa Hutto
Safety Analytics: Turning Data Into Insight
This webinar uncovers the attributes of a robust analytics approach
to safety, looks at common analytics methods and the information it can
uncover, and offers a prescription for improving the quality and
precision of safety decision-making and action. View the US webinar - presented by Greg Robinson and Gennifer Lyon View the EMEA webinar - presented by Jozef Creemers and Gennifer Lyon View the AU webinar - presented by Ellen Downs and Gennifer Lyon
Best Practices to Making the Most Out of Your Incident Reporting System
This webinar provides a discussion of why some incident investigation
processes succeed while others go astray. We share practical tools and
knowledge that you can apply in your organization. View the US webinar - presented by Carey Bennett
Safety Leadership Essentials: From Assessment to Safety Roadmap
Join DEKRA Insight’s Rob Sheers as he presents and discusses
strategies designed to successfully transition organizations from the
assessment stage of an initiative through implementation—so you get
where you want to be the first time, with as few setbacks as possible. View the AU webinar - presented by Rob Sheers
Measuring Process Safety Performance
If you want to improve reliability, profitability and safety, then
measuring process safety performance is for you. Whether you operate a
major hazards site or are sub-CoMAH, this webinar appraises the
different approaches in developing and selecting performance indicators
and gives recommendation on the most effective approach. View the UK webinar - presented by Wahid Azizi
Applying Scenarios to Strengthen Safety Performance
In this webinar we discuss how high performance companies are
applying scenario-based learning to strengthen situational decision
making, develop safety leadership, and sustain great results. View the US webinar - presented by Jim Spigener
The Principles that Produce Effective Safety Data Management Systems
In this webinar we discuss guiding principles for effective safety
data management systems and what they’ve learned from practical
application. View the US webinar - presented by Carey Bennett and Ron Demaray
Process Safety Competency: What, and how much, do you need to know – and how do you get it
A topical challenge for industrial companies, especially those
involved in hazardous materials processing, is how to demonstrate
adequate competence in process safety across their organisation. This
granulates further into “what do you need to know, to what level, in
what position?” This webinar explores these challenges and provides
ideas on demystifying the process. View the EMEA webinar - presented by Stephen Rowe
The Impact of Bias on Process Safety Outcomes
In this webinar we explore how bias can cause employees to
underestimate risk or overestimate systems’ capabilities to control
Process Safety exposures. View the US webinar - presented by Robert Gaither and Luis Sanchez View the EMEA webinar - presented by Sebastian Blair and Stephen Rowe
Update from the Field: Key Elements for an Effective SIF Prevention Strategy
This webinar discusses nine inter-related initiatives emerging as
central elements to any effective fatality prevention strategy. We
explore efforts to mitigate SIF precursors. View the US webinar - presented by Don Martin View the EMEA webinar - presented by Filip Coumans and Mariska Mulder
Improving Human Reliability in Safety: Brain-Centric Solutions
In this webinar, Susan L Koen, PhD, discusses how new insights from
neuroscience are being applied to improve operational reliability in the
workplace. This webinar expands your understanding of the error
mechanisms in the human brain and the impact of fatigue on brain
functioning. View the US webinar - presented by Susan Koen View the EMEA webinar - presented by Susan Koen
Assessment to Safety Roadmap – Getting It Right the First Time
In this webinar we examine the ways organizations have successfully
transitioned from the assessment stage of an initiative to create a
realistic roadmap for safety improvement. View the webinar - presented by James Grant
What Your Safety Data Should Be Telling You
In this webinar we touch on all aspects of the data collection,
integration, analysis, and presentation processes that must come
together to yield valuable insight for leadership. View the US webinar - presented by Don Groover and Mike Mangan View the EMEA webinar - presented by Martin Dean and Mike Mangan
Behaviour-Based Safety for Performance Improvement
In this webinar, we discuss the people side of safety and what
organisations can do to support the right behaviours all the time. We
present the critical success factors for performance improvement and
examine the key attributes of a mature safety process—one that is not
just seasoned but thriving. View the EMEA webinar - presented by Adam Jones and Ruud Kist
Right People, Right Place: Getting and Growing Great Safety Talent
In this webinar we discuss the challenges of getting and growing
world class safety talent, and suggest practices for leaders to build a
strong safety talent pool. View the US webinar - presented by Erika Gwilt View the EMEA webinar - presented by Marcelino Arias
How to Engage Employees in Addressing High-Potential Risks and Exposures
In this webinar we introduce the SIF Interview and Observation
process and its components, helping your organization address
high-potential risks and exposures while maintaining momentum on
existing safety efforts. View the US webinar - presented by Kathy Culig View the EMEA webinar - presented by Ian Stewart and Jos Creemers
Can I Learn Transformational Leadership from the Military?
In this webinar we present a few transformational leadership examples
used by the military and show you how to apply it to leadership
development in your own organization. View the webinar
Developing Transformational Safety Leaders to Build Great Cultures
Learn what transformational leadership really looks like and
specifically, which behaviours and actions leaders can model to develop
great safety cultures. View the webinar - presented by Seb Blair and Adam Jones
Do No Harm: Handling Safety Incidents with Care, Skill, and Leadership
Effective incident handling is a hallmark of top safety performers.
Yet, many leaders struggle to handle incidents in a way that promotes
the organisation’s highest safety goals. When an employee is hurt: What
do you say? What do you do—and in what order? View the webinar - presented by Filip Coumans
Discipline and Punishment: Are They the Same Thing?
In this webinar, safety experts outline the principles and practices
leaders can use to develop an effective disciplinary system and improve
organizational safety performance. View the webinar - presented by Jim Spigener
Motivating for Safety: Critical Practices to Ensure Employees Stay Engaged
Why aren’t people rallying around safety? In this webinar safety
experts tackle the issue of motivation, and suggest practices for
leaders to engage employees in safety improvement. View the webinar - presented by Patrick McCorry, BST and Forrest Lauher, Western Refining
Talking About Exposure: Using Conversations to Enhance Safety Readiness
In this webinar, we outline an approach to enhancing safety
performance using scenario-based learning. We will inspire you with
real-life examples of how focused conversations can enhance safety
readiness, and we will outline the key elements to help you get there. View the US webinar - presented by Jim Spigener View the EMEA webinar - presented by Filip Coumans
Breaking Clouded Judgments: The Role of Bias in Safety
BST experts discuss bias and its impact in safety, and suggest
strategies for avoiding the errors cognitive biases can create in
reducing accidents in the workplace. View the US webinar - presented by Mike Mangan View the EMEA webinar - presented by Guy Boyd and Seb Blair
Why Don't People Follow the Rules? Compliance vs. Commitment
BST experts discuss organizational safety and how creating a culture
of commitment helps reduce injuries in the workplace. Focusing on
building a robust culture is the first step to developing an environment
where people not only follow the rules, but live them. View the US webinar - presented by Erika Gwilt View the EMEA webinar - presented by Guy Boyd and Adam Jones
Improving Safety Program Execution – A Key to Excellent Performance
Scott Stricoff, President, discusses program design and
implementation as the key components to successful program execution.
Developing safety programs and initiatives is only the first small step;
results come when an organization excels at safety program execution. View the webinar - presented by Scott Stricoff
5 Steps for Removing Your SIF Exposure Blind Spot: How to Detect
Serious Injury and Fatality (SIF) Potential in Your Organization
BST experts introduce five steps to developing a measure of SIF
potential to help organizations bring visibility to SIF exposures and
eliminate a common safety “blind spot.” View the US webinar - presented by Don Martin View the EMEA webinar - presented by Filip Coumans and Stuart Johnson
Creating Engagement at the Frontline: Leveraging 5 Supervisor Safety Activities
BST's safety experts introduce five supervisor safety activities that
when demonstrated consistently and effectively, improve employee
engagement. View US webinar - presented by Mike Mangan View EMEA webinar - presented by Filip Coumans and Jos Creemers
Developing Great Safety Cultures in the Food and Beverage Industry
Patrick McCorry, Vice President and Jim Spigener, Senior Vice
President discuss how organizations can develop and manage strong safety
cultures through the actions of their leaders. View the webinar - presented by Patrick McCorry and Jim Spigener
Leveraging Culture to Improve Process Safety Management
Greg Robinson, Vice President and Kathy Culig, Principal Consultant
explore how organizations can enhance their process safety management
systems through the actions of their leaders. View the webinar - presented by Greg Robinson and Kathy Culig
Addressing the Safety Discipline Dilemma
BST safety experts discuss the discipline dilemma in organizations
today; the impact discipline systems have on culture and performance;
and the most effective ways to achieve consistent conformance to rules
and procedures while building a strong safety culture. View the US webinar – presented by Scott Stricoff View the EMEA webinar – presented by Filip Coumans
Moments of Truth: The Five Critical Safety Activities Every Mining Supervisor Must Do Well
Michael Hajaistron and Ellen Downs discuss key safety activities for
supervisors; how these activities are directly related to the leadership
practices that drive safety; and how organizations can use safety
leadership as a means to improve overall supervisor effectiveness. View the webinar - presented by Michael Hajaistron and Ellen Downs
How Great Leaders Become Great Safety Leaders
BST’s safety experts discuss how great leaders become great safety
leaders by identifying safety as a value, making the connection between
safety and an emotional commitment, and addressing how to effectively
communicate and act on that commitment. View the US webinar - presented by Jim Spigener View the EMEA webinar - presented by Guy Boyd and Martin Dean
Engaging Supervisors for Safety Excellence
BST President Scott Stricoff discusses key safety activities for
supervisors; how these activities are directly related to the leadership
practices that drive safety; and how organizations can use safety
leadership as a means to improve overall supervisor effectiveness. View the webinar - presented by Scott Stricoff
Incident Investigation: A Paradigm Shift
BST Senior Vice President Don Groover discusses the limitations of
this current paradigm and the need to shift our thinking around incident
investigation. Learn why safety experts are now looking into the
identification of exposure potential and reliance on longitudinal
analysis to reduce injuries, and how this new model can benefit your
organization. View the webinar - presented by Don Groover
How Leaders Should Deal with 5 Key Safety Issues Currently Affecting the Utility Industry
BST Vice President Tim Hoover and Executive Consultant Curtis Davis
(retired senior executive from Duke, Allegheny, and First Energy)
discuss five key safety issues facing utilities executives today and
proactive ways leaders can personally and positively affect outcomes. View the webinar - presented by Tim Hoover
The new standard sets out to be the single, go-to source for handling combustible dusts, no matter what industry you’re in, or where you live in the world.
The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) announced the standard’s release at the American Industrial Hygiene conference and exposition (AIHce) on May 25, 2016 after its approval on September 7, 2015.
The NFPA published the new standard as an answer to a lack of understanding of what combustible dust hazards are, and to smooth out some inconsistent guidelines in their existing commodity-specific
The new standards apply to all logistics and facilities involved with handling or producing combustible dusts and combustible particulate solids. They give straightforward guidelines on when to use commodity-specific standards, and when to use the shared standards.
Here’s a breakdown of what the standard includes, and how it will work for your industry.
The three fundamental principles
NFPA 652 promotes awareness of the three following fundamental principles:
Under NFPA 652, a Dust Hazard Analysis (DHA) is mandatory for all new and existing facilities that handle, generate, store or process combustible dusts.
The DHA determines what the risks are of a potential fire or explosion based on the type of combustible dust or particulate solid in the facility and its processes. It also defines ways to prevent or mitigate dust hazards and accidents, and gives recommendations for training those involved about their workplace hazards.
For existing facilities, the DHA is required within three years of the standard’s release in September 2015.
The DHA is not the same as a Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) needed for refineries or chemical manufacturing. The PHA is a more rigorous analysis and it isn’t necessary for all industries.
There are several testing methods that you can apply for your DHA:
The standard overlaps with some of the existing commodity specific standards:
NFPA 61: Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Dust Explosions in Agricultural and Food Processing Facilities
NFPA 484: Standard for Combustible Metals
NFPA 654: Standard for the Prevention of Fire and
Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing, and Handling of
Combustible Particulate Solids
NFPA 655: Standard for Prevention of Sulfur Fires and Explosions
NFPA 664: Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Explosions in Wood Processing and Woodworking Facilities
New 2017 editions of NFPA 61, 652 and 664 standards have already been issued electronically, and the remaining commodity specific standards are set to be updated in following years. NFPA 652 also points to explosion prevention standards NFPA 67: Guide on Explosion Protection for Gaseous Mixtures in Pipe Systems, NFPA 68: Standard on Explosion Protection by Deflagration Venting and NFPA 69: Standard on Explosion Prevention Systems.
When commodity specific NFPA standards prohibit a new requirement set out in NFPA 652, you should follow the pre-existing prohibitive rule in the commodity-specific standard.
How can I make my plant NFPA 652 compliant?
There are two compliance options outlined in NFPA 652:
Prescriptive Compliance where facilities follow pre-existing steps to take to meet their goal of complying with NFPA 652.
Performance-Based Compliance where facilities begin with the goal of complying with NFPA 652 and adjust their method throughout the adjustment process.
Redesigning entire facilities is not mandatory under NFPA 652, but it is a requirement to conduct employee training and perform proper housekeeping duties.
You might also be interested in:
For more information on combustible dust, NFPA compliance, and keeping your facilities safe, tune into Megan Thompson’s Webinar: NFPA safety: It’s not just about the airlockhere.
Purdue Offers Courses on Dust Explosion Prevention
Purdue University Extension is offering three workshops
this summer on the prevention of grain dust combustion and explosions
for workers at grain handling facilities.
Funded by a grant from the US Department of Labor's Occupational
Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the sessions will focus on
handling and unloading grain, engineering controls, and industrial
hazards. Participants will also observe a demonstration of a grain dust
explosion. Those who successfully complete the workshops are awarded a
"On average, there are 10 grain dust explosions every year in the
United States, causing damage, injury, and death," said Kingsley
Ambrose, assistant professor in Purdue's department of agricultural and
biological engineering. "Our goal is to raise awareness of the perils of
grain dust explosion and reduce this number."
Ambrose is a co-presenter of the workshops with Chad Martin, a
specialist from Purdue Extention. The workshops are intended for
individuals, but customized training sessions through Purdue Extention
are available for large grain handling facilities and businesses.
"Our participants will be able to identify active steps to mitigate
immediate threats, improve their knowledge of dust reduction methods,
and better understand the combustion and explosion potential of dust,"
The workshops take place:
June 22, 3-8 pm EDT, Northeast-Purdue Agricultural Center, 4821 E. 400 S, Columbia City, IN
June 27, 1-5 pm EDT, Southern Indiana Purdue Agricultural Center, 11371 E. Purdue Farm Road, Dobois, IN
Aug. 17, 1-5 pm CDT, Jasper County Fair Fairgrounds, 2671 W. Clark St., Rensselaer, IN
For more information, contact Chad Martin at Martin95@purdue.edu.
to OHS Online, the US National Fire Protection Association’s new
combustible dust standard, NFPA 652, Standard on the Fundamentals of
Combustible Dust, is now in effect. It is the latest in a series of NFPA
standards that apply to combustible dusts after 61, 484, 654, 655, and
664, and includes the important new requirement of dust hazard analysis.
was announced at the American Industrial Hygiene Conference &
Exposition (AIHce) 2016 event in Baltimore, OHS Online reported. Susan
Berhad, the NFPA staff liaison for the combustible dust project, made
the announcement during a May 25 presentation on the standard at the
The 652 standard sets out three fundamental principles:
controlling the fuel, controlling the ignition sources, and limiting the
spread of any combustion event.
Redesigning facilities is not
retroactive under the standard, Berhad said. But management of change,
employee training, and housekeeping requirements all do apply
retroactively. There are two compliance options, a prescriptive one and a
performance-based one. A dust hazard analysis (DHA) is mandatory for
existing processes and facilities within three years, she said.
An NFPA staff member provided an update on the new NFPA 652 standard during the AIHce 2016
meeting and said the association is moving toward a single combustible dust standard.
May 30, 2016
BALTIMORE -- The National Fire Protection Association's new combustible dust standard, NFPA 652, Standard on the Fundamentals of Combustible Dust, is now in effect. While it is the latest in a series of NFPA standards that apply to combustible dusts -- 61, 484, 654, 655, and 664 -- this
one, issued in August 2015, includes the important new requirement of dust hazard analysis, Susan Berhad, the association's staff liaison for the combustible dust project, said during a May 25 presentation on the standard at the AIHce 2016 meeting here.
She said 2017 editions of the 61, 652, and 664 standards have recently been issued, and the 652 standard includes a provision that points to the explosion prevention standards -- 67, 68, and 69. The 652 standard sets out three fundamental principles, which are controlling the fuel, controlling the ignition sources, and limiting the spread of any combustion event, she explained.
Redesigning facilities is not retroactive under the standard, Berhad said. But management of change, employee training, and housekeeping requirements all do apply retroactively. There are two compliance options, a prescriptive one and a performance-based one. A dust hazard analysis (DHA) is mandatory for existing processes and facilities within three years, she said, adding that there should be documentation for each of these required elements: responsible party, due date, tracking of redesign activities, date action items are closed out, how they were closed out, and recommendations rejected for cause (if any) and why they were rejected. "You keep your documentation for the life of the process -- you should do it," she added.
Common techniques that are useful in the DHA process include HAZOP (Hazard Operability Analysis), checklist analysis, what if/checklist analysis, FMEA (Failure Mode Effects Analysis), and layers of protection analysis.
And, while the 654 standard requires revalidation of a DHA every five years, that probably will be added to the other standards, including 652, for consistency, Berhad said.
Berhad said in the long term, NFPA envisions a single combustible dust standard. "The short answer is yes, someday. . . . It's going to take some time," she said.