- THE MAGAZINE
Combustible dust explosions are more common and deadly than many people realize. But, according to a press release, there is a lot the professional cleaning industry can do to help prevent them.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines combustible dust as fine particles of dust that present a "flash" or explosion hazard when suspended in air under certain conditions.
Here are some key elements that must be present for a dust explosion to occur, according to Tornado Industries’ Daniel Frimml:
- A sufficient concentration of airborne combustible dust
- Confinement of the dust in a specific area within the facility
- Ignition, which could be heat, an electrical charge, or anything that triggers the explosion
And here’s how to help prevent dust explosions:
- Conduct a dust-hazard inspection to see if a potential problem exists.
- Know the type of dust in the facility and whether it has a high or low potential for explosion.
- Install dust-collection systems to remove airborne dust.
- Educate all workers on the hazards of combustible dust. "This is very important because workers in a warehouse setting are often the first to detect a potential [dust explosion] hazard."
In addition, the cleaning industry can play an important role by cleaning surfaces using industrial vacuum systems specifically designed for dry debris/waste recovery and employ a multistage HEPA-level filtration system.