Updates to the Combustible Dust Standards

Several National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards for combustible dust were updated in 2019, including standards applicable to food, agricultural, wood product, plastic, pharmaceutical, and many other industries.  The 2020 Editions of NFPA 61, 654, and 664 were all issued in the past few months.  (Much like a new car model, the new NFPA editions are typically released in the year before the date of the edition.)   Below are some of the major changes to these standards.  If you have specific questions about how these changes may affect your facility, CTI’s combustible dust experts are available to talk.

NFPA 61 – Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Dust Explosions in Agricultural and Food Processing Facilities

Effective Date: November 24, 2019

  • New requirements for Spray Dryers, Mixers and Blenders, and certain work activities that present ignition sources have been added.
  • The section on Management of Change (which is retroactive) has been updated.
  • Specific exclusions from explosion protection have been applied for air-material separators (e.g. cyclones and dust collectors) with dirty-side volumes less than 8 cubic feet (about the size of a 55-gal drum).
  • Annex material about methods for completing a Dust Hazard Analysis (DHA) has been added, and a deadline for completing DHAs for existing processes and facilities has been included.

NFPA 654 – Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids

Effective Date: August 25, 2019

    • The deadline for completing DHAs for existing processes and facilities has been updated to be Sept. 7, 2020.
    • The standard has been reorganized (i.e. Chapters have been reordered) to align with NFPA 652.
    • New requirements for ultrafine (nano) particles and additive manufacturing have been added.

NFPA 664 – Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Explosions in Wood Processing and Woodworking Facilities

Effective Date: November 24, 2019

  • The standard has been reorganized (i.e. Chapters have been reordered) to align with NFPA 652.
  • The definition of deflagrable wood dust was revised, and requirements for assessing hazards based on particle size and moisture content were added.
  • The standard now states that a documented risk assessment can be used as a compliance option, rather than the prescriptive requirements of the standard.
  • Safety procedures to be used during facility and equipment blowdown have been revised.

CTI’s engineers are members of several NFPA standard committees for combustible dust and are available to help you ensure the safe operation of your facility.

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