It has been almost a year since the formation of the Technical Committee on the Fundamentals of Combustible Dusts. Since its formation, the committee has begun work to develop a document on the fundamentals of combustible dusts.
What is “Fundamentals of Combustible Dust”?
When handling, storing, conveying, processing, or doing pretty much anything with a combustible particulate solid, there is a chance that you could be creating some unwanted or fugitive dust in your facility. This dust can present not only a fire hazard but also an explosion hazard under the right conditions. You will turn to NFPA to figure out how to handle these hazards.
Currently, NFPA develops five major dust standards that target specific dust types:
- NFPA 61, Standard for the prevention of fires and dust explosions in agricultural and food processing facilities
- NFPA 484, Standard for Combustible Metals
- NFPA 654, Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids
- NFPA 655, Standard for Preventing Sulfur Fires and Explosions
- NFPA 664, Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Explosions in Wood Processing and Woodworking Facilities
On your lazy Sunday when reading your favorite NFPA standards and while drinking your favorite beverage, you may notice that with the major dust documents there are several key themes throughout the different standards. Starting out the committees goals with this document will be the following:
- Developing key requirements to reduce the hazards associated with combustible dusts
- Developing a road map to direct you to the proper dust document
NFPA wants to make it easier for anyone involved with the combustible dust hazard to know the basic requirements to avoid the hazards associated with combustible dust and to point them to the correct document that is applicable to their industry/dust type. This was a perfect opportunity for a new committee.
What is the Committee doing?
The Committee met up at the beginning of this year to begin work on a draft document. From this meeting, the committee had established that some basic elements to prevent dust fires and explosions:
- Hazard Identification - Do you have a combustible dust?
- Hazard Assessment – If combustible dust is present does a hazard or hazards exists?
- Hazards Management – How do you manage the hazards?
- Management Systems – Maintaining the management programs and procedures
Keeping up the Fundamentals:
The TC on Fundamentals of Combustible Dust will be meeting August 14 through 16 in Kansas City, MO. Here they will be finishing their draft to present to the Standards Council to release to the public. Interested in what this committee is doing, send me an email.