Over the past several decades, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as well as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) have been expanding and enforcing regulations and standards designed to lessen the potential for disasters in facilities that handle combustible dusts. Any facility that processes or handles combustible solids or dusts, such as food products, wood, plastics, and metals should take preventative measures in identifying and managing the potential fire and explosion hazards present during normal operations at an industrial facility. A catastrophic incident of a facility failing to properly identify and mitigate the hazards associated with handling combustible dust is the explosion at the Imperial Sugar factory in east Georgia back in 2008. This combustible dust explosion killed 13 people and injured 40 more. This accident was entirely avoidable. Continue reading “Combustible Dust Regulation Updates”

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is charged with creating standards for fire prevention in North America. While they have no enforcement power of their own, Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs), including OSHA, will reference the NFPA standards in their own regulations. NFPA has had industry/commodity specific standards for combustible dusts for years, in some cases dating back to the early 1920’s. These include: Continue reading “NFPA Issues 2017 Revisions to Industry Specific Combustible Dust Standards”

Earlier this year, NFPA issued the 2017 edition of NFPA 499: Recommended Practices for the Classification of Combustible Dusts and of Hazardous (Classified) Locations for Electrical Installations in Chemical Process Areas. While “Chemical Process Areas” is identified in the title of the standard, the standard applies to chemical processing or mixing operations, which can include agricultural dusts, if mixing is occurring.The standard is a useful tool in classifying combustible dust areas as part of a Dust Hazard Analysis (DHA) as required by NFPA 652: Standard on the Fundamentals of Combustible Dusts. Continue reading “NFPA Issues 2017 Edition of NFPA 499”

As originally published in CTI’s Compliance Matters Newsletter – Summer 2015. By: Chris Frendahl and Jeff Davis, PE

On September 1, 2015, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) issued NFPA 652, Standard on the Fundamentals of Combustible Dust. NFPA 652 is the first step to creating a single, unified combustible dust standard that would apply to all facilities.

A significant number of industrial accidents have been associated with combustible dust flash fires and explosions. Historically, the hazards from combustible dust are often overlooked, in part due to facilities not understanding the hazards of combustible dust. However, there are other cases where the hazards are overlooked due to complacency or a general attitude of “that can’t happen here.” Continue reading “NFPA Issues NFPA 652: Standard on the Fundamentals of Combustible Dust”

Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and Conversion Technology, Inc. (CTI) are teaming to produce a three part webinar series on combustible dust.  In this series of webinars, you will learn about the hazards of combustible dust and the regulations applicable to your business, how to conduct a dust hazard analysis, and how to mitigate the effects of combustible dust.

Webinars and Dates:

Continue reading “Assessing and Managing Combustible Dust Hazards – A Three Part Webinar Series”

Title: NFPA 652 – The New Standard for Combustible Dust
Date: AVAILABLE NOW ON-DEMAND
Time: ON-DEMAND
Duration: 1 hour
Registration: https://goo.gl/7b8EsY

In 2015, The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) released NFPA 652, a new, overarching standard for combustible dust that covers all materials – agricultural products, wood products, chemicals, etc. Continue reading “Free Webinar: NFPA 652 – The New Standard for Combustible Dust”

On January 18, 2016, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) published the 2nd draft report for NFPA 499: Recommended Practice for the Classification of Combustible Dusts and of Hazardous (Classified) Locations for Electrical Installations in Chemical Process Areas. It is now open for a Notice of Intent to Make a Motion (NITMAM) until February 19, 2016 for those on a Committee Comment, Second Revision, or Second Correlating Revision. The purpose of NFPA 499 is to provide information on classifying combustible dusts and locations and provide recommended practices on proper selection of electrical equipment in hazardous (classified) locations per NFPA 70, National Electrical Code. NFPA 499 is a compendium document to Chapter 5 (Article 500) of NFPA 70 and does not supersede any requirements of other NFPA standards (e.g. NFPA 61, 68, 69, 654, 664, etc.).

The significant changes for the 2016 revision includes classifications and definitions for the following: Continue reading “NFPA 499 Revision Update”

Title: NFPA 652 – The New Standard for Combustible Dust
Date: Thursday, December 03, 2015
Time: 02:00 PM Eastern Standard Time
Duration: 1 hour

In 2015, The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) released NFPA 652, a new, overarching standard for combustible dust that covers all materials – agricultural products, wood products, chemicals, etc. Continue reading “Free Webinar: NFPA 652 – The New Standard for Combustible Dust”

We would like to congratulate our Director of Engineering, Brian Edwards, for being appointed as a Principle on the NFPA Technical Committee on Agricultural Dusts (CMD-AGR), which is the committee that maintains NFPA 61- Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Dust Explosions in Agricultural and Food Processing Facilities.  As a consultant to industry with over 16 years experience,  Brian will sit on the committee as a Special Expert.