Cleaning & Restoration Breaking News

What Cleaners Should Know About Combustible Dust Explosions

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
  • Oxygen

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.

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