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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Recent Posts

Retroactive NFPA Fire & Dust Explosions 654 Requirements Interpreted

Posted by Fauske & Associates on 08.14.13

By: Amy E. Theis, P.E.
Manager, Risk Management Services, Fauske & Associates, LLC

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 654, Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids, 2013 Edition applies to a variety of industries including, but not limited to, plastics, polymers, pharmaceuticals, consumer products and fine chemicals. This standard is typically applied to a facility to evaluate workplace conditions which could potentially lead to a fire or explosion due to a combustible dust hazard. Some of the items in this standard are retroactive requirements. These include elements of facility management, maintenance, documentation and training. Each of these areas should have a written policy and plan, auditable record keeping and any additional requirements identified. [NFPA 654, § 1.5]

Fugitive dust - explosive dust - combustible dust
 Fugitive Dust, Courtesy Hughes Environmental

Retroactive Requirements for NFPA 654
• Management of Change [NFPA 654, §4.3.1]
• Housekeeping [NFPA 654, §8.2.1 - §8.2.3]
• Control of Ignition Sources [NFPA 654, §9.3.2, §9.3.3, §9.4.1-9.4.3, §9.5.1 - §9.5.3]
• Training [NFPA 654, §11.2 and §11.3]
• Inspection, Testing and Maintenance [NFPA 654, §12.1.1 - §12.1.3]

Management of Change (MOC)
A written Management of Change (MOC) program is required for proposed equipment and process changes to areas where combustible dust is handled. The written MOC program must establish a method for managing changes to process materials, technology, equipment, procedures and facilities. A safety review must be performed and documented to ensure that any hazards introduced to the process are addressed in an appropriate manner. Well structured MOC programs also include provisions to handle emergency changes that may arise. Elements of an MOC program must ensure that the following issues are addressed prior to any change:
• The technical basis for the proposed change
• The safety and health implications
• Whether the change is permanent or temporary
• Modifications to operating and maintenance procedures
• Employee training requirements
• Authorization requirements for the proposed change

A written Housekeeping Program/Plan should include documented dust accumulation threshold, required cleaning frequencies, inspections, spill response and cleaning methods. [NFPA 654, §6.1, §8.2, and §11.2.2]
The basis of a Housekeeping Plan should include the following: [NFPA 654, §8.2.1 - §8.2.3]
• Housekeeping procedures
• Established time frames to respond to and accomplish spill clean-ups, or inappropriate accumulations of combustible dusts
• Documented risk evaluation to determine the level of housekeeping /protection measures
• Specify cleaning methods that minimize the risk of generating a fire or explosion hazard
• Portable vacuum cleaners meet Class II and are bonded and grounded
• If flammable vapors or gases are present, vacuum must be listed for both Class I and Class II

Control of Ignition Sources
Select ignition sources specify a retroactive requirement according to the most recent NFPA guidelines. These include the following sources.
• Static electricity requirements related to conductive components and bonding and grounding practices [NFPA 654, §9.3]
• Cartridge-actuated tools [NFPA 654, §9.4]
• Open flames and sparks such as hot work and smoking [NFPA 654, §9.5]
Note that provisions for other ignition sources are given in NFPA, but are not considered retroactive.

Training, procedures and equipment attentive to mitigate fugitive dust are required to transfer combustible dusts into and out of processing equipment and to handle these materials safely (NFPA 654, §11.2). Site specific combustible dust training must be provided to employees, documented and include the following elements.
• Initial and refresher training shall be provided to employees who are involved in operating, maintaining and supervising facilities that handle combustible particulate solids.
• Initial and refresher training shall ensure that all employees are knowledgeable about the following:

- Hazards of their workplace

- General orientation, including plant safety rules

- Process description

- Equipment operation, safe startup and shutdown and response to upset conditions

- Equipment maintenance requirements and practices

- Housekeeping requirements

- Emergency response plans including prevention, preparation and response to work-related emergencies including but not limited to fire and explosion

• Employer certification and documentation of training
• Train operators on their process area/equipment and include training/updates on new safety procedures or explosion mitigation devices installed on relevant equipment
• Written operating and maintenance procedures including required personal protective equipment (PPE), such as flame resistant garments, in accordance with the workplace hazard assessment required by NFPA 2113, Standard on Selection, Care, Use, and Maintenance of Flame-Resistant Garments for Protection of Industrial Personnel Against Flash Fire
• Annual review of plans and procedures or, as required by process changes
Contractor training including hazard awareness, procedures and plans as applicable 

Inspection, Testing and Maintenance
A written inspection, testing and maintenance program is a retroactive requirement and is required to be developed and implemented to ensure that the fire and explosion protection systems and related process controls and equipment per form as designed.
The inspection, testing and maintenance program shall include the following:
• Fire and explosion protection and prevention equipment in accordance with NFPA standards
• Dust control equipment operates properly
• Housekeeping is effective
• Potential ignition sources are controlled
• Electrical, process, and mechanical equipment, including process interlocks are maintained
• Process changes are reviewed by a Management of Change Program
• Lubrication schedules are identified and maintained for bearings and other rotating equipment or components as necessary
• Records shall be kept of maintenance and repairs performed [NFPA 654, §12.1.3]
In addition, specific requirements exist for maintenance on the following pieces of equipment:
air-material separators and filter media, abort gates and dampers, fire and explosion protection systems, air-moving devices (i.e. fans and blowers), material feeding devices and bearings.

Process Hazard Analysis (PHA)
The process hazard analysis (PHA) requirement has been in effect since 2006 and affects facilities designed and built on or after this date. However, proposed modifications such as equipment replacement or changes will trigger the PHA requirement. The PHA must be conducted to address the fire and explosion safety provisions of the facility, equipment and processes when major replacements or renovations of an existing facility occur. [NFPA 654, §4.2.1] If the process, equipment, or operation does not prevent accumulation of dust external to equipment at all times, then the PHA must identify and document the maximum allowable layer thickness, maximum allowable deposit sur face area and minimum personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements. [NFPA 654, §4.2.3] The results of the process hazard analysis need to be documented and maintained for the life of the process. [NFPA 654, §4.2.2] While conducting a PHA is not a retroactive requirement for the existing facility, it can serve as a useful tool to evaluate risk of specific upset scenarios and determine if adequate safeguards and protective strategies are in place.

Each of these programs may already exist in a facility as part of their current safety program. However, it is important to evaluate these programs and verify that combustible dust hazards are adequately identified and addressed in each safety management system. Fauske & Associates, LLC can provide assistance in evaluating and updating these programs as needed to ensure that combustible dust hazards are properly identified and evaluated to determine if adequate protection is currently implemented.

For more information, please contact Amy Theis, 630-887-5211,             

Topics: Combustible Dust, Process Hazards Analysis


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