C&W is experienced in providing combustible dust mitigation strategies that ensure your processes are safe.
Many manufacturing processes can create combustible dust. Process owner/operators should review their risk mitigation strategies to select the appropriate combination for specific applications.
Areas beyond merely dust collectors that should be considered:
Dust collectors are an integral part of many plants’ combustible dust compliance strategies. As such, dust collection companies have had to remain active in supplying dust collectors to support a customer’s combustible dust control strategy by interfacing with the customer and its experts on fire and explosion protection equipment and strategies. While a dust collector is one component of the system, the overall design of the system matters to ensure risks to personnel and equipment are properly mitigated. C&W understands what a customer needs for specific applications.
Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) are helpful resources in understanding your requirements. By definition in NFPA 68, an “AHJ 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.” A few examples of AHJs include but are not limited to: insurance inspection departments, rating bureaus, Fire Marshals and OSHA inspectors.
Since each AHJ may have a specific set of codes he or she references, you may need to have general knowledge of more than one standard or code. As a process owner, you are responsible for the selection of your combustible material management strategy. You also need to assure your process and facility comply with all applicable federal, state, and local codes and standards. Many standards and codes may influence your decisions on dust control, including the local, state, and federal regulations. Knowing the codes that apply to your facility is critical, and you should always research the code requirements in your area. Some commonly referenced standards for combustible dust risk management strategies include those issued by: National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the International Mechanical Code, the International Fire Code, Factory Mutual Property Loss, and OSHA (federal). Since these standards are often cited by OSHA, and have been adopted as code in many areas of the country, they may be a good starting point for consideration in developing your combustible dust management strategy. For more free information visit www.nfpa.org.
Why dust collectors should be one part of your strategy decision:
Many process requirements make elimination of combustible dust impractical. However, it may still be very possible to manage the dispersion of dust within your plant by using an appropriate and effective industrial ventilation system, including dust collection. A well designed, maintained, and operated industrial ventilation system includes proper hoods, proper duct sizes, and properly selected collection equipment. These factors together provide effective dust control and can therefore help manage the presence of dispersed dust. This not only reduces housekeeping frequency and expense, but also may help you reduce the risk of dust explosions in your facility, particularly the destructive secondary explosions, by helping reduce the presence of dispersed fuel in your facility.
Fire risk management strategies traditionally focus on the control or elimination of one of the three key elements necessary for a fire — often represented by the fire triangle. Managing one or more of the elements in the triangle can decrease the fire risk.
Explosion risk management strategies consider a slightly expanded set of elements often represented as an explosion pentagon. In addition to the key elements from the fire triangle — fuel, heat, and oxygen, the explosion pentagon includes two additional elements necessary for an explosion: dispersion of dust and confinement of dust. As with fire management strategies, the management or removal of one or more of the elements in the explosion pentagon can reduce the explosion risk. While many explosion management strategies focus on controlling the same elements in the fire triangle, explosion risk management strategies that focus on the dispersion of dust, or the containment of dust alone, may require a separate strategy to address any remaining fire risks.
C&W can help you with your combustible dust mitigation strategy, contact us for more information.