Showing posts from September, 2009

Safety Pros Are Not Expendable

ASSE Prez: Safety Pros Are Not Expendable DES PLAINES, IL -- In his address this week to attendees of the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering's Conference in Calgary, Alberta, ASSE President C. Christopher Patton, CSP, discussed how safety, health and environmental professionals are weathering the difficult economic times and how businesses could lose productivity, efficiency and profitability without their expertise. [full story]

Take Heed

Take heed. The CSB US Chemical Safety Board has finalized their report on the Imperial Sugar disaster, and concluded that the combustible dust explosions and consequential injuries and loss of life were preventable. While we do not necessarily believe all explosions are preventable, we do believe this report characterizes the sate of industry in this country. European countries have long implemented ATEX standards as law for preventing fires and explosions in process industry. In the United States, we have had current best engineering practices, NFPA and FM Global standards for preventing these type incidences for decades, but many in industry have ignored them, unless prompted by OSHA or their insurance company. This attitude gets people hurt. It opens your company up to lawsuits and affects your reputation in your community, industry, and with your customers. I have had many mangers tell me they have run their plants for years with no incidences of fires. Many ti…

Sawdust Fire Difficult to Extinguish

Sawdust fires can indeed be hard to fight. First you are dealing with a very combustible product. Second it is conveyed to a dust collector with all the ingredients for a fire and deflagration. All that is needed is a spark to complete the Fire Triangle. As per NFPA 664, a listed Spark Detection & Extinguishing System in the conveying system is a very effective tool in preventing this type of fire. Third, saw dust is typically stored in a silo or bin with enough volume that it is hard to extinguish any embedded embers or fires not matter how good your sprinkler or deluge system, because the water will tunnel through the material instead of wetting it thoroughly and consistently. And fourth, with enough combustible dust disbursed within the vessel, as you empty it you create an increasingly explosive atmosphere . Firefighters are at risk of injury when opening a dust collector or storage vessel as they are adding oxygen to a combustible dust cloud with an embedded embe…

Sugar Case Gets Hearing

Imperial Sugar is finally getting back up and running. A tragedy that should never have happened. Adequate and properly engineered dust control systems, dust collection, controls and interlocks, systems and procedures, safety equipment, and housekeeping can prevent most if not all combustible dust fires and explosions. Fire prevention is both a science and an attitude. It must come from the top down.

Sugar Case Gets Hearing
GPB - Atlanta,GA,USA
... Feburary of 2008 that investigators believe was caused by combustible dust. The plaintiffs allege that the operators maintained lax safety precautions. ...

OSHA continues crackdown on combustible dust hazards

A good article from our friends at Wood & Wood Products magazine on the continuing and stepped up OSHA Combustible Dust hazard inspections, and what it means for your plant. Repeat violations are being levied with large fines. For wood dust, the most cost effective protection is a listed Spark Detection & Extinguishing System to prevent fires and explosions in the incipient stage. With the addition of sprinkler and deluge systems, explosion vents, and an abort gate on any return air systems, you will typically be well covered. OSHA continues crackdown on combustible dust hazards By Rich Christianson - Would your plant pass muster if Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspectors knocked on your door unannounced looking for potential combustible dust hazards?


From our friend Dr. Saraf with the Risk & Safety Blog, comes another excellent brief, this time on Expanding Vapor Explosions. This is not on our usual topic of combustible dusts fire & explosion prevention, but is relevant for our customers in many industries we deal in. BLEVEBLEVE stands for Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor ExplosionIf a tank containing liquid is subjected to external fire, the heat from the fire lead to boiling of the liquid. This in turn leads to increased pressure in the tank. This “boiling” liquid and “expanding” vapor may increase the pressure significantly and cause the tank to rupture. If the released liquid is flammable , it can catch on fire resulting in a fire and explosion.The following video demonstrates the BLEVE

Recent Recycling Plant Explosions

Recent Recycling Plant Explosions

In reference to combustible dust and in the wake of recent recycling plant fires and explosions, we need to increase awareness of combustible dust hazards in the recycling process industry.

We have protected many types of recycling plants in many industries. Many forms of recycling plants including paper, wood, rubber, aluminum, lead, even batteries and tires, etc. often create combustible dust as a byproduct, similar to their parent primary manufacturing processes. We have even helped protect military installations where they were grinding everything from paperwork to munitions! However the recycling industry can be as, or even more hazardous because of the nature of the byproducts from recycling, as well as the creation of sparks from fractioning recycled materials. Of course any time you have fugitive dust it is typically conveyed to a dust collector containing the comdust and oxygen, two of the three main ingredients to the fire triangl…

Company faces huge fine because of violations at multiple locations » Blog Archive » Company faces huge fine ...
By Fred Hosier
lack of employee training; exposure to electric shocks; lack of fall protection; lack of machine guards; exposure to noise hazards; struck-by dangers, and; accumulation of combustible dust. Sims also faces other-than-serious citations ... -