Showing posts from May, 2012

New Dates for Seminars in the GreCon Academy

New Dates for Seminars in the GreCon Academy

From our friends at GreCon:
GreCon Press Release New Dates for Seminars in the GreCon Academy Alfeld/Hanover, Germany. GreCon in Alfeld, leading manufacturer of spark detection and extinguishment systems and measuring technology, offers an extensive range of seminars again this year. The focus of the GreCon Academy is again the transfer of know-how to increase system reliability and production efficiency and to reduce costs. Much importance is attached to the conveying of theoretical basics as well as to practical training directed at the system technology. Target groups are production staff, safety officers, system operators, maintenance and engineering staff.

The fire protection systems seminar gives an introduction to the rules and regulations as well as the engineering and peripheral equipment of spark extinguishing systems. The construction, the operation of the software and the components of the CC 700/CC5000/C…

HazCom Gets a Facelift - ads combustible dust

OSHA HazCom also ads combustible dust

From, By Eric J. Conn and Casey M. Cosentino of Epstein Becker Green

Note: 10) Combustible dust: Against much industry protest, the final rule added combustible dust to the definition of hazardous chemicals. This means that combustible dust hazards now must be addressed on labels and SDS. The new standard outlines the label elements required for combustible dust, including the signal word “warning” and the hazard statement, “May form combustible dust concentrations in the air.” Notably, OSHA failed to provide a definition for combustible dust in the new standard, creating uncertainty for employers. OSHA claims that it did not give a definition due to the ongoing combustible dust rulemaking and work of the United Nations’ Sub-Committee of Experts on the GHS. Instead, OSHA pointed to existing documents, including OSHA’s Hazard Communication Guidance for Combustible Dusts, OSHA (3371-08 2009) and its Combustible Dust National …

Best Practices Dust Control -

From  Here is an article about the BC Mountain Pine Beetle tree mill explosions and a resource for mills creating combustible wood dust. The link below is a list of resources and the last one is referenced in the story.
Industry resources From WorkSafeBCWorkSafeBC combustible dust strategy - Phase 1 (sawmills)Bulletin РCleanup of Hazardous and Combustible DustBest Practices Sawmill Dust Control Workgroup From industryJoint industry communiqu̩ on mill safetyWood Dust in Sawmills - Compilation of Industry Best Practices

Russian sawmill fire offers revealing insights | Vancouver Sun

Russian sawmill fire offers revealing insights | Vancouver Sun

" doesn’t matter whether a mill is is Asia or North America, sawdust is just as flammable and requires systems to ensure it is safely managed"

British Columbia isn’t the only place where sawmills have been catching fire. There’s an interesting report out of Russia passed on by Ian Ogilvie, of  Pacific Russia News. It’s about a fire at a mill April 20 in the Russian Far East.

The mill didn’t explode, as has been the case at two mill fires recently in British Columbia. In this case it was a massive pile of sawdust that appears to have caught fire through spontaneous combustion. It destroyed a good part of the adjacent village, leaving 125 households homeless. Three people lost their lives.

 The report, from the minutes of an April 26 government presidium meeting chaired by President Vladimir Putin, is revealing for a number of reasons.

First, I think it shows how far the Russian industry is from bein…

Five explosions preceded deadly incidents in Burns Lake, Prince George

One B.C. pellet mill blast went unreported

From The Vancouver Sun:
Five explosions preceded deadly incidents in Burns Lake, Prince George
Read more:

A wood dust explosion 16 months ago that blew apart a small control room and started a fire at a Williams Lake sawmill went unreported to WorkSafeBC, the chief workplace safety agency in the province.

The incident was among five explosions news reports linked to wood dust in north and central B.C. between 2009 and 2011 that took place before two fatal sawmill explosions this year at Babine Forest Products in Burns Lake and Lakeland Mills in Prince George.
WorkSafeBC also said it has no record of an explosion in 2011 at a Pinnacle Pellet plant in Armstrong.

WorkSafe inspectors and industry representatives have not directly linked the two fatal sawmill explosions, which killed four workers and injured dozens more, to wood dust. But incr…

Pellet plant facing OSHA fine on fire

Pellet plant facing OSHA fine on fire 

"According to the inspection report stemming from October’s fire, the flames in that blaze led to a series of explosions in the plant.

“The fire, which started in the pellet mill, was transported through several conveying systems to a pellet cooler and then to a dust collector, and caused several other flash fires,” an OSHA news release said. “Shortly thereafter, explosions occurred in the dust collector and an exhaust muffler.

“The explosions sent fireballs outside of the building and likely ignited materials in two silos.”
Without the required protective devices in the pellet transport system, dust collection duct and conveyor systems, sparks and embers are able spread throughout the system, officials said."

Lessons Learned:  Pellet mills create fuel. Fires and Explosions migrate through processes.   Damage limiting construction, inherently safer design, and proper engineering and administrative controls are…

False Security: Relying on housekeeping as a first line of defense against explosion and fire is a false economy

Relying on housekeeping as a first line of defense against explosion and fire is a false economy

False security - relying on housekeeping as your first line of defense in dealing with combustible dust.  Great article by our friend Eric Anderson, as posted in the Combustible Dust Explosions and Fires blog.  Housekeeping is a secondary strategy to managing combustible dust, not a primary method of preventing dust fires and explosions.

Why going cheap on the dust collection and control system is short sighted... We all know that our cars and trucks have air and oil filters to catch dust to avoid abrasive wear of the engine. We have seen news articles about how airborne dust is not good for jet engines - like when that Icelandic volcano erupted in 2010, or the Argentinean eruption in 2011. So, why do so many industrial operations let their dust collection systems get plugged up and fail to perform? Assuming that they bother to install adequate dust controls in the first place? One c…

How to Stay Safe from OSHA!

From Pallet Enterprise online -

How to Stay Safe from OSHA! Recent Industry Fines Offer Lessons on OSHA Enforcement Trends
Heightened enforcement environment puts the industry on notice that OSHA fines and citations are a serious matter. Experts discuss recent citations and lessons for the industry to avoid similar hazards.

By Chaille Brindley
Date Posted: 5/1/2012
                The kinder, gentler Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) that existed under President George W. Bush has been replaced since 2009 with a much more aggressive enforcement approach under President Barack Obama. And if you haven’t taken safety seriously, you should. It is not only the right thing to do. It is expensive if you ignore it in terms of lost production and potential government fines.                 The problem is that it seems OSHA is becoming increasingly aggressive when it comes to enforcement and leveling fines cautioned Adele Abrams, noted safety lawyer who also ru…