Getting a Handle on Your Combustible Dust Exposure – Part 2

Last week, we reviewed the definition of combustible dust, the “Dust Explosion Pentagon”, and identified several historic dust explosions that have resulted in the tragic loss of many lives. This week, we’ll review applicable…

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Getting a Handle on Your Combustible Dust Exposure – Part 1

Any facility that handles combustible particulate solids, including dusts, fibers, flocks, flakes, chips, and chunks should be proactive in evaluating the extent of this hazard in their facility and processes. NFPA defines a…

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Combustible Dust Demonstration Apparatus

What do our fire protection engineers do in their spare time? Dale Hansen, one of the Principals of our firm, recently developed a combustible dust demonstration apparatus. The demonstration unit is designed to disperse a…

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Hot Work Sparks a Grain Dust Explosion at Flagstaff Pet Food Manufacturer

According to investigators, a recent dust explosion in the Flagstaff Nestle Purina plant was caused by welders conducting hot work repairs on the facility’s grain elevators. The incident occurred on the afternoon of September…

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Combustible Dust Explosion at China Factory Kills 75

On August 2nd, reportedly, 75 people were killed and nearly 200 others injured in a combustible dust explosion at a General Motors automotive parts supply factory in eastern China. Preliminary investigations cite that metal…

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What’s Next? Aftermath of Combustible Dust Explosion at Burns Lake Mill

Since the two British Columbia sawmill explosions in early 2012, attention to the problem of combustible dust has skyrocketed. It’s tragically too late for the four workers killed and more than 40 injured in these blasts, but…

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Combustible Dust Explosion at Babine Forest Products: Exploring the Root Causes

When combustible dust ignited to cause a deadly explosion at the Babine Forest Products mill, a housekeeping issue quickly became a matter of life and death. Two workers were killed and 20 were injured that day in January 2012,…

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Burns Lake Mill Combustible Dust Explosion: What Happened?

Combustible dust explosion risk is one of the most challenging issues fire safety professionals face today. On January 20, 2012 in Burns Lake, British Columbia, we were reminded why. Shortly after 8pm, there was a combustible…

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Possible Combustible Dust Explosion Leaves Many Questions Unanswered

An investigation is still open, leaving many questions unanswered, in a manufacturing plant explosion and facility collapse that killed two people and injured 10 others. The incident occurred on January 20, 2014 at the…

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Fire Prevention Tips for Wood Pellet Plants

My last blog discussed the dangers of wood pellet plant facilities and included an overview of several recent incidents. Today, I would like to review a few fire prevention tips for wood pellet plants. The process of…

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The Dangers of Wood Pellet Plant Facilities

Photo: Frieda Squires/The Providence Journal An explosion occurred on August 20, 2013 at Inferno Pellets Co. in East Providence, Rhode Island and the resulting fire, which spread throughout most of the 300,000 square-foot…

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What Can Plant Managers Do to Help Emergency Responders Prevent Combustible Dust Explosions?

By Dale C. Hansen, P.E. Combustible dust explosion risks are one of the current “hot issues” being addressed by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)…

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NFPA Conference Review – Design Flexibility in Managing Combustible Dust Explosion Hazards

In June, a few of our fire protection consultants got the chance to attend the NFPA conference in Chicago. We’ve asked that they summarize the key points from some of the sessions they attended so that we can share the…

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Three Strategies to Minimize Loss from Industrial Oven and Dryer Fires

Last month, fire broke out in a production oven processing a rubber product at American National Rubber Co., located in Ceredo, West Virginia. No injuries were reported in the incident. The fire ignited inside the oven,…

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Five Lessons Learned from Combustible Dust Flash Fire Fatality

State officials are investigating a recent combustible dust flash fire that killed one employee and injured two others at Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies (AERT) in Springdale, Arkansas. Although the cause of the…

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