New GA Combustible Dust Rule Effective March 9, 2010

Georgia has created a new rule that will affect a multitude of facilities across the state.  The Georgia Safety Fire Commissioner has enacted Chapter 120-3-24: Rules and Regulations for Loss Prevention Due to Combustible Dust Explosion and Fire, and these rules have an effective date of March 9, 2010.  These rules were specifically made by the State of Georgia to regulate combustible dust in response to the Imperial Sugar tragedy in Port Wentworth, GA that claimed the lives of 14 people and injured many more.

The new regulation will require many changes to work practices and training, and will make some National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standards enforceable against any modifications to equipment at a facility.  One of the most immediate changes will be that facilities will be required to register with the State of Georgia beginning June 1, 2010, to be completed July 1, 2010.  The new rule will also require more rigorous training schedules along with more frequent emergency drills.  Annually, facilities will submit affidavits stating that the required training was given to each employee.

Two of the NFPA Standards, 654 and 664, require that a Hazard Analysis be performed at each facility to determine the extent of the combustible dust hazard present at the facility.  The new training requirements also have guidelines about what topics are to be covered relating to combustible dust.  A hazard analysis must be performed at a facility to ensure that the hazards covered in training are applicable to operations at that facility.  Once the training is completed, facilities are required to perform emergency drills on a quarterly basis, evacuation drills annually, and disaster drills periodically.

Conversion Technology, Inc. (CTI) is available to help facilities achieve and maintain compliance with all of the new requirements outlined in the new regulation.  We can be reached by phone at (770) 263-6330 or by e-mail at cti@conversiontechnology.com.  More information is available at our website http://www.conversiontechnology.com/fcde.html.