Combustible Dust Testing

Laboratory testing to quantify dust explosion & reactivity hazards

Flammable Gas & Vapor Testing

Laboratory testing to quantify explosion hazards for vapor and gas mixtures

Chemical Reactivity Testing

Laboratory testing to quantify reactive chemical hazards, including the possibility of material incompatibility, instability, and runaway chemical reactions

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 safety handle the effluent discharge from an overpressure event

Thermal Stability

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

UN-DOT

Classification of hazardous materials subject to shipping and storage regulations

Safety Data Sheets

Develop critical safety data for inclusion in SDS documents

Biological

Model transport of airborne virus aerosols to guide safe operations and ventilation upgrades

Radioactive

Model transport of contamination for source term and leak path factor analysis

Fire Analysis

Model transport of heat and smoke for fire analysis

Flammable or Toxic Gas

transport of flammable or toxic gas during a process upset

OSS consulting, adiabatic & reaction calorimetry and consulting

Onsite safety studies can help identify explosibility and chemical reaction hazards so that appropriate testing, simulations, or calculations are identified to support safe scale up

Mechanical, Piping, and Electrical

Engineering and testing to support safe plant operations and develop solutions to problems in heat transfer, fluid flow, electric power systems

Battery Safety

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

Hydrogen Safety

Testing and consulting on the explosion risks associated with devices and processes which use or produce hydrogen

Spent Fuel

Safety analysis for packaging, transport, and storage of spent nuclear fuel

Decommissioning, Decontamination and Remediation (DD&R)

Safety analysis to underpin decommissioning process at facilities which have produced or used radioactive nuclear materials

Laboratory Testing & Software Capabilities

Bespoke testing and modeling services to validate analysis of DD&R processes

Nuclear Overview

Our Nuclear Services Group is recognized for comprehensive evaluations to help commercial nuclear power plants operate efficiently and stay compliant.

Severe Accident Analysis and Risk Assessment

Expert analysis of possible risk and consequences from nuclear plant accidents

Thermal Hydraulics

Testing and analysis to ensure that critical equipment will operate under adverse environmental conditions

Environmental Qualification (EQ) and Equipment Survivability (ES)

Testing and analysis to ensure that critical equipment will operate under adverse environmental conditions

Laboratory Testing & Software Capabilities

Testing and modeling services to support resolution of emergent safety issues at a power plant

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 (DSC/ARC supplies, CPA, C80, Super Stirrer)

Products and equipment for the process safety or process development laboratory

FERST

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

FATE

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

Blog

Our highly experienced team keeps you up-to-date on the latest process safety developments.

Process Safety Newsletter

Stay informed with our quarterly Process Safety Newsletters sharing topical articles and practical advice.

Resources

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

Recent Posts

How ComDust (Combustible Dust) Affects Every Industry

Posted by The Fauske Team on 06.11.14

Sadly, I read another article this morning about combustible dust related deaths, "Second of Seven Workers Injured in GP ComDust Blast Dies". This time, in the wood pulp/paper industry.

We list on our website the number of industries we serve in our process safety and nuclear safety business. Among these, industries requiring process safety management or risk management services for ComDust or flammability issues include:  pharmaceutical, food, agricultural, wood pulp/paper, plastics/polymers, cosmetic, and metals/or manufacturing, in general. Where Do Combustible Dust Incidents Happen   Graphic

Here are some more ComDust manufacturing industry articles: 

US Labor Department's OSHA cites 50 safety violations, proposes $917,000 in fines against Bostik Inc. following Middleton, Mass., explosion

Tennessee plant where five workers died found rife with dangers

Unchecked dust explosions kill, injure hundreds of workers 

Here's a few from the cosmetics industries:

Hundreds evacuated after fire at Deerfield Beach cosmetics firm

Explosion Rocks Chatsworth Cosmetic Firm

Fire at cosmetic factory, goods charred

And, the pharmaceutical industry:

In Final Report on West Pharmaceutical Explosion, CSB Finds Inadequate Controls for Dust Hazards, Calls on North Carolina to Strengthen Fire Code on Combustible Dust

Food Industry:

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Gilster-Mary Lee Corp. in Steeleville, Ill., after combustible dust explosion seriously burns 2 maintenance workers

Plastics/Polymers Industry:

Flash Fire in Plastics Compounding Plant Injures Four Employees 

These are just a few of the many stories out there.  Yet, plant managers from every line of work call and tell us they can't convince management to have a simple, explosibility screening test (go/no-go) done. Too afraid of opening a costly can of worms?  What are the savings of not? Injuries and lives lead the list of reasons why, obviously.  Thinking you will wait for OSHA or some other Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) to require it of your plant is too late. 

The U.S. Chemical Safety & Hazards Investigations Board (USCSB) reports at least 281 combustible dust fires and explosions occurred in general industry between 1980 and 2005, which caused at least 119 fatalities and 718 injuries in the United States. Per media reports from 2008-2012, another 50 incidents resulted in 15 deaths and 127 injuries.  These incidents occurred in a wide range of industries and involved many types of combustible dusts. Still, there is currently NO national standard specific to combustible dust hazards for worker protection; though OSHA has 29CFR 1910.272 (1987). What Materials Are Involved in Combustible Dust Incidents   graphic

So, who is responsible for preventing combustible dust explosions in the work place? Who has control?? Everyone. Plant/facility owners, upper management, employees, insurance companies, government regulators (local, state and federal). The determination of compliance and retroactivity is determined by the AHJ. The AHJ can be insurance companies, building inspectors, fire departments/fire marshals and OSHA.

I've written about the types of testing we do, from basic explosibility screeing tests (go/no-go) to the whole suite of tests, and about how to collect and ship dust samples.  We are happy to answer any questions you may have for your facility, or your higher ups, in the effort to be safe.  A process hazards analysis (PHA) can be the basis for your entire facility safety plan to mitigate any risk as well.  

Would love to not read another story on ComDust injury or death.  Would love it.  


Topics: Combustible dust, explosive dust, flammable dust, dust hazard, go no go, explosibility test, MIT test, Minimum ignition temperature test, mitigating dust, NFPA 654, Flammability hazard, combustible hazard, OSHA, NFPA 652, NFPA 68, NFPA 69, hazard identification, PSM, process safety management, go/nogo, risk management, comdust, explosibilty screening test, dust test, process safety, process hazards, LIT test, MIE test, pmax, hazards analysis, RMS, MEC test, testing

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