In 2015, the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) enacted the Standard on Fundamentals of Combustible Dust with a five-year window for companies to schedule & complete a Dust Hazards Analysis (DHA) of their processes and operations. By 2020, all agricultural and food production companies must have a person with proven expertise in dust explosion hazards complete their DHA. The industry-specific standard for agricultural & food processing facilities is NFPA 61 – Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Dust Explosions in Agricultural and Food Products Facilities.
The Standard requires that the owner/operator of a facility where potentially combustible dusts might be present is responsible for discerning the following:
Determining combustibility and explosibility (Go/No Go) of materials.
This can be based on the following:
- Laboratory analysis of representative samples
- Historical facility data
- Published data – only if representative of current materials and process conditions
- One is also permitted to assume that a material is explosible, forgoing the laboratory analysis
For new construction and facility processes that are undergoing measurable alterations (modifications with more than 25 percent of the replacement cost of the equipment system), you must complete DHAs as part of the project & be included in the planning stage of the project.
For existing processes and facilities, you must schedule and complete DHAs of bucket elevators, conveyors, grinding equipment, spray dryer systems and dust collection systems before September 2020.
All that being said, once you’ve identified the potential combustible dust hazards, contact K-Clean USA to clean up the dust using our spark-proof or explosion-proof vacuuming systems. If you have specific problem areas where combustible dust can accumulate, one of K-Clean USA’s maintenance programs is the perfect solution to keeping your facility safe from potential fires or explosions. Our certified teams are available to perform dust clean-up on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual basis - or any regular interval that best suits your production processes.