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


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

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

Published January 8, 2014

Close Encounters of the AHJ Kind: Combustible Dust and the Authority Having Jurisdiction, P1

Close Encounters of the AHJ Kind: Combustible Dust and the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), Part 1, by Tim Cullina, Senior Consulting Engineer, Fauske & Associates, LLC. 

Male Plant Manager resized 600When it comes to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) combustible dust standards, just who is the “authority having jurisdiction” and just how much authority do they have anyway?

The term “authority having jurisdiction,” commonly referred to as AHJ, is deliberately vague and covers a variety of organizations, not all of them governmental. By NFPA 654 definition, the authority having jurisdiction is "An organization, office, or individual responsible for enforcing the requirements of a code or standard, or for approving equipment, materials, an installation, or a procedure." 

That's fairly broad authority, and generally speaking, more than any single government office or agency usually maintains. Since agencies, offices, bureaus, and their responsibilities vary from town to town and state to state, the appropriate AHJ for a particular issue may be the building department or town engineer in one municipality and the fire chief or an elected official in another.  NFPA makes this uncontrolled variability a bit more clear in the annex to each of the combustible standards. 

In the annex to NFPA 654 for example, NFPA states: "Where public safety is primary, the authority having jurisdiction may be a federal, state, local, or other regional department or individual such as a fire chief; fire marshal; chief of a fire prevention bureau, labor department, or health department; building official; electrical inspector; or others having statutory authority."   Chances are good that you may have two or more AHJs in your local government, with others lurking at the state or federal levels.  Typically, these are the "permit people" that I like to call AHJs of the first kind.  They may not be familiar with your applicable NFPA standards, especially if you are a "one of a kind" enterprise in their jurisdiction, but that does not reduce their authority.  It simply adds emphasis to your responsibility.

The NFPA 654 annex reference goes on further to state: "For insurance purposes, an insurance inspection department, rating bureau, or other insurance company representative may be the authority having jurisdiction." In addition, NFPA identifies that, "In many circumstances, the property owner or his or her designated agent assumes the role of the authority having jurisdiction...".  These are your "non-governmental, doing-business" AHJs. I call these AHJs of the second kind.  Similar to the permit people mentioned previously, they may or may not be familiar with your applicable NFPA standards.

There is yet a third kind of AHJ; the inspectors. Typically, inspectors work for either the "permit" or "doing-business" AHJs, but not always. In a perfect world, they act as the guardians of both the public and private interests.  This group includes OSHA and the most powerful AHJ of them all, which I will address later in this series.  And no, it is not the NFPA.   

OSHA is an AHJ of this third kind. But, just like all the others, restricted to the limits of their authority and just like all the others, to the limits of their knowledge.  OSHA does not issue permits, like an AHJ of the first kind. It is not OSHA's place to "approve equipment, materials, an installation, or a procedure", like an AHJ of the second kind. (Fie to any company that advertises "OSHA-approved" products.) However, OSHA does enforce workplace safety standards.  Since many safety standards, such as Hazard Communications, are performance-oriented standards that overlap with NFPA standards, OSHA has a mandate to evaluate, whether equipment, materials, installations, and procedures help or hinder workplace safety. 

The most powerful AHJ is not EPA, even though it is an AHJ of all three kinds.  The most powerful AHJ, is the corporation, business owner, sole proprietor - essentially the "head honcho" in your organization.  Typically, that authority and the bounds of its jurisdiction are divided and distributed across the organization.  Few organizations divvy up the authority exactly the same way.  So looking at a chart of AHJs, of any kind, is like looking into a fun-house mirror.  Isn't it Pogo who said, "We have seen the enemy, and he is us."

In the next blog, I will continue with "Sleeping with Enemy: Combustible Dust and the Authorities having Jurisdiction (AHJ), Part 2".

In the mean time, consider the value that Fauske and Associates, LLC, (FAI) can provide to your efforts navigating applicable NFPA, OSHA, and EPA standards.  Our experts in Combustible Dust Explosion and Fire Hazard Evaluation, Process Hazard Analysis (PHA), Hazard Identification Risk Analysis, Consequence Analysis, Safer Process Scale-up, Process Safety Program Development, and Relief System Design Review are always here to help.  For more information, please contact Jeff Griffin at or 630-887-5278. 

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