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.

Earlier this week, NFPA published the Second Draft Meeting Minutes for the next edition of NFPA 664 – Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Explosions in Wood Processing and Wood Working Facilities.  This meeting was held in Atlanta on July 14-15, and I was in attendance both days. For those of you in the wood products industry in North America, this is the go-to guide to fire protection.  This meeting was to discuss the 2017 Edition of 664, which, contrary to its name, is scheduled to be released in Fall of 2016. Continue reading “NFPA 664 (Wood Products) Revision Update”

Today, during the Technical Meeting at NFPA’s 2015 Annual Conference, there were two certified motions up for a vote related to the new NFPA Standard on Fundamentals of Combustible Dust – NFPA 652.  One motion was to remove the requirement for a Dust Hazard Analysis, and the other was to delay the issuance of the Standard completely.  Both motions were defeated by an overwhelming majority of the NFPA voting members, including myself. These votes were the last hurdle in the issuance of the Standard later this year.

NFPA 652 is the first step in developing a single, overarching standard to deal with fire and explosion hazards associated with combustible dust of all types and in all industries.  Currently, there are several industry and commodity specific standards, such as NFPA 61 for agricultural dust and 664 for wood dust, that often lack consistency, leading to confusion among users, authorities having jurisdiction (e.g. OSHA), and safety professionals. The development of NFPA 652 intends to alleviate some of the confusion … eventually. Over the coming months, CTI will be writing articles, providing presentations at conferences and online, and consulting our clients with the specifics of the standard.  If you are interested in staying in touch with these developments and other news, please email cti@conversiontechnology.com and ask to be included on our Newsletter list.

When dealing with processes involving combustible dust, flammable liquids & gasses, and extremely toxic materials, understanding the hazards in the process is critical. This is true when designing a new process, as well as when a plant changes equipment, chemicals, and procedures. Many of the most severe industrial accidents have occurred because the facility failed to consider how changes would impact process safety. That is why a robust management of change (MOC) procedure that incorporates process hazard analysis (PHA) is so important. Continue reading “The Importance of Management of Change and Hazard Analysis”