Combustible Dust Testing

Laboratory testing to quantify dust explosion and reactivity hazards

Safety Data Sheets

Develop critical safety data for inclusion in SDS documents

Gas and Vapor

Laboratory testing to quantify explosion hazards for vapor and gas mixtures

Classification of hazardous materials subject to shipping and storage regulations
Testing and consulting on the explosion risks associated with devices and processes which use or produce hydrogen
Safety Data Sheets

Develop critical safety data for inclusion in SDS documents

Thermal Stability

Safe storage or processing requires an understanding of the possible hazards associated with sensitivity to variations in temperature

Adiabatic Calorimetry
Data demonstrate the consequences of process upsets, such as failed equipment or improper procedures, and guide mitigation strategies including Emergency Relief System (ERS) design
Reaction Calorimetry
Data yield heat and gas removal requirements to control the desired process chemistry
Battery Safety

Testing to support safe design of batteries and electrical power backup facilities particularly to satisfy UL9540a ed.4

Safety Data Sheets

Develop critical safety data for inclusion in SDS documents

Cable Testing
Evaluate electrical cables to demonstrate reliability and identify defects or degradation
Equipment Qualification (EQ)
Testing and analysis to ensure that critical equipment will operate under adverse environmental conditions
Water Hammer
Analysis and testing to identify and prevent unwanted hydraulic pressure transients in process piping
Acoustic Vibration
Identify and eliminate potential sources of unwanted vibration in piping and structural systems
Gas & Air Intrusion
Analysis and testing to identify and prevent intrusion of gas or air in piping systems
ISO/IEC 17025:2017

Fauske & Associates fulfills the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025:2017 in the field of Testing

ISO 9001:2015
Fauske & Associates fulfills the requirements of ISO 9001:2015
Dust Hazards Analysis
Evaluate your process to identify combustible dust hazards and perform dust explosion testing
On-Site Risk Management
On-site safety studies can help identify explosibility and chemical reaction hazards so that appropriate testing, simulations, or calculations are identified to support safe scale up
DIERS Methodology
Design emergency pressure relief systems to mitigate the consequences of unwanted chemical reactivity and account for two-phase flow using the right tools and methods
Deflagrations (Dust/Vapor/Gas)

Properly size pressure relief vents to protect your processes from dust, vapor, and gas explosions

Effluent Handling

Pressure relief sizing is just the first step and it is critical to safely handle the effluent discharge from an overpressure event

FATE™ & Facility Modeling

FATE (Facility Flow, Aerosol, Thermal, and Explosion) is a flexible, fast-running code developed and maintained by Fauske and Associates under an ASME NQA-1 compliant QA program.

Mechanical, Piping, and Electrical
Engineering and testing to support safe plant operations and develop solutions to problems in heat transfer, fluid, flow, and electric power systems
Hydrogen Safety
Testing and consulting on the explosion risks associated with devices and processes which use or produce hydrogen
Thermal Hydraulics
Testing and analysis to ensure that critical equipment will operate under adverse environmental conditions
Nuclear Safety
Our Nuclear Services Group is recognized for comprehensive evaluations to help commercial nuclear power plants operate efficiently and stay compliant
Radioactive Waste
Safety analysis to underpin decomissioning process at facilities which have produced or used radioactive nuclear materials
Adiabatic Safety Calorimeters (ARSST and VSP2)

Low thermal inertial adiabatic calorimeters specially designed to provide directly scalable data that are critical to safe process design

Other Lab Equipment and Parts for the DSC/ARC/ARSST/VSP2 Calorimeters

Products and equipment for the process safety or process development laboratory


Software for emergency relief system design to ensure safe processing of reactive chemicals, including consideration of two-phase flow and runaway chemical reactions


Facility modeling software mechanistically tracks transport of heat, gasses, vapors, and aerosols for safety analysis of multi-room facilities


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With over 40 years of industry expertise, we have a wealth of process safety knowledge to share.

Recent Posts

Good Housekeeping Program Controls Combustible Dust Hazards

Posted by Fauske & Associates on 09.30.14

By Sara Peters, Fauske & Associates, LLC

You may have heard the saying that ‘a clean house is a happy home’. Well, in industrialHousekeeping Dust 1 processing facilities, that saying takes on a different connotation in that a clean facility is not only happier, it is safer.

If you read our blog with any frequency, you know that we have repeatedly addressed the importance of characterizing the type of fugitive dust in industrial workspace –combustible or explosible – as the first step of any combustible dust mitigation program.  But, that is just one piece of the equation.

Although it is important to understand how your dust could behave if lofted into a cloud, a proper Combustible Dust Management System needs to be put in place to minimize this type of occurrence. One critical element to such a program to control the accumulation of fugitive dust is establishing an effective housekeeping plan for your facility.

Housekeeping is often one of the first things that OSHA will consider during an inspection. Additionally, establishment of a proper housekeeping plan for a facility that produces fugitive dust is a requirement of NFPA 654, Chapter 8 – Fugitive Dust Control and Housekeeping.

Housekeeping Plan Components: 
  1. Threshold: Establish an allowable threshold value for dust accumulation

  2. Frequency: Determine frequency of cleaning

  3. Equipment & Techniques: Ensure proper equipment is available for cleaning and that personnel are trained on appropriate cleaning techniques

  4. Fugitive Dust Control: Minimize the release of dust during normal operations

  5. Inspections: Routinely inspect the identified areas where combustible dust could accumulate

A proactive and comprehensive cleaning program should consider all horizontal areas where dust can accumulate including floors, tops of  hoods, equipment, conveyers, overhead structural supports such as beams and joists, tops of  ducts, walls, light fixtures and even hidden areas such as spaces above ceiling tiles.  

It is critical to establish a visual baseline in the process area where dust can be clearly seen, and accumulation measured over specific periods of time – shift, day, etc can be measured. This will help identify the proper cleaning frequency required to ensure dust accumulation stays below 1/32”, which is the benchmark thickness noted in NFPA 654. Refer to the chart below for suggested cleaning frequencies based on depth of dust layer. 

Depth of Dust Accumulation (in.)


Housekeeping Requirements

Area Electrical Classification

< 1/32

Continuous / frequent

Clean up as necessary to maintain an average accumulation below 1/64 in.

Unclassified; however, electrical enclosures should be dust tight

1/32 to 1/8


Clean up during

 same shift

Unclassified; however, electrical enclosures should be dust tight

1/32 to 1/8

Continuous / frequent

Clean as necessary to maintain an average accumulation below           1/16 in.

Class II, Division 2

> 1/8


Immediately shut down  and clean

Class II, Division 2

Once the proper cleaning frequency is determined, then appropriate procedures for safe cleaning should be applied including:

  • Written procedures for operations, maintenance and training

  • Utilizing the preferred method of vacuuming with appropriately rated Class II vacuum cleaners that are bonded and grounded to minimize accumulation of static charge

  • Gentle sweeping with soft brooms or brushes with natural fiber bristles and water wash downs is generally permitted as well

  • Avoiding vigorous sweeping or blow downs with steam or compressed air when dealing with combustible dust unless the following requirements are met:

    • Vacuuming, sweeping or water wash-down methods are first used to clean surfaces that can be safely accessed prior to using compressed air

    • Dust accumulations in the area after the above cleaning method do not exceed the threshold dust accumulation.

    • Compressed air hoses are equipped with pressure relief nozzles limiting the discharge gauge pressure to 30 psi (207 kPa)

    • Electrical equipment potentially exposed to airborne dust in the area meets, as a minimum, the requirements of NFPA 70 (National Electric Code), NEMA 12 or the equivalent.

    • All ignition sources and hot surfaces capable of igniting a dust cloud or layer are shut down or removed from the area

Of course, the simplest solution would be to minimize the release of fugitive dust in the first place. This can be accomplished through various means such as:

  • Continuous suction to minimize the escape of dust shall be provided for processes where combustible dust is liberated during normal operation, NFPA 654, 7.1.1

  • Making system components dust-tight, except for openings designed for intake and discharge of air and material, NFPA 654,

    • Pneumatic conveying systems

    • Dust collection systems

    • Centralized vacuum systems

  • Assuring fixed spouts are dust-tight NFPA 61, 7.3.5

  • Making certain that bin vents are properly sized

Once you have your plan, your schedule, the proper equipment and techniques for cleaning and you have implemented proper steps to control the build-up of fugitive dust, it does not end there. The final critical element is implementing planned inspections to ensure ongoing effectiveness of the program.

As you can see from this list of actions, the role of good housekeeping in process safety is one that shouldn’t be overlooked. Fauske & Associates, LLC has a dedicated risk management team that can counsel on the topic of housekeeping for industrial processes as well as provide a full process hazard analysis, if required. For more information, please contact Jeff Griffin at or 630-887-5278.

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Topics: Combustible Dust, Process Safety


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