Combustible dust fires and explosions are a significant industry hazard. These events can occur within equipment because, in most cases, all the elements required to generate a fire or explosion are present within particulate solids handling equipment except an apparent ignition source. In addition, catastrophic secondary dust explosions can occur when dangerous dust accumulations outside of equipment go unnoticed. To ensure safety and compliance with national codes and standards, Dust Hazard Analyses (DHA) can be an invaluable resource for your facility. Our team helps you proactively identify combustible dust hazards and create plans to support hazard mitigation effectively.
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NFPA 652 is the fundamental combustible dust standard that outlines the basic obligations of owners/operators to establish potential combustible dust hazards associated with their processes. The starting point is, through laboratory testing, to determine whether the dust is combustible and/or explosible. If the result is positive, then NFPA 652 requires that a DHA be performed for those processes using or producing combustible dusts.
Audit a facility against the prescriptive elements of applicable industry-specific NFPA standard (i.e., NFPA 61, NFPA 484, NFPA 654, NFPA 655, or NFPA 664) and provide consulting advice on the approaches needed to meet the standard’s requirements (i.e., housekeeping, choice and design of dust collection and explosion protection systems, etc.). These audits are performed as part of a DHA.
Through performance-based (risk) assessment, determine the necessity of safeguards implementation to meet regulatory risk tolerance criteria and provide risk-ranking of compliance gaps to cost-effectively maximize risk reduction. BakerRisk employs What-IF/HAZOP/LOPA or other similar approaches developed through our application of established PSM related work practices to provide maximum benefit to our clients.
Assist with gathering complete, accurate, and objective incident data to perform a cause and origin investigation and provide litigation support as needed.
Facilitate testing of dusts to determine whether the dust is combustible and/or explosible. If determined to be explosible, then additional tests can be performed to aid with evaluating potential process hazards. BakerRisk facilitates testing to determine the explosibility characteristics of particulate material and provide recommendations on which combustible dust tests to conduct, how to interpret test results, and what the results mean to the facility owner. The following tests can be performed:
Screen Test (Go/No-Go) Dust Explosibility Screening Test (ASTM E1226)
1m3 and 20L Dust Explosive Severity (Kst/Pmax) (ASTM E1226)
Minimum Explosive Concentration (MEC) for Dusts — (ASTM E1515)
Limiting Oxygen Concentration (LOC) For Dusts — (ASTM E1226)
Minimum Ignition Energy (MIE) for Dusts (with or without Inductance) — (ASTM E2019)
Minimum Auto Ignition Temperature (MAIT) of Dust Clouds — (ASTM E1491)
Minimum Dust Layer Ignition Temperature (MIT) — (ASTM E2021)
If a DHA identifies equipment that requires the provision of explosion protection, it must meet some fundamental criteria before the protection systems can be installed. For all types of explosion protection systems, a dynamic pressure increase within the equipment should be expected. This is true whether the equipment is to be installed with deflagration venting, chemical suppression, or is to be designed to contain the maximum explosion pressure. Therefore, the structural capacity of equipment to be provided by explosion protection, or a pipe protected by explosion isolation, must be defined to ensure the equipment design is sufficiently strong to prevent mechanical failure and potentially secondary explosions in the process building where the equipment is located. In many cases for new equipment, the structural capacity is known. However, for legacy equipment, this can be challenging to determine. BakerRisk has the tools and expertise to be able to determine the maximum allowable reduced explosion pressure (Pred) that a piece of equipment can withstand in order to appropriately design the mitigation system.
Performing a HAC is a requirement of the NFPA combustible dust standards. The focus of this effort is to minimize the potential for electrical equipment to present a potential ignition source in areas where combustible dust is handled or generated. An HAC study establishes the appropriate rating of the equipment as a function of the likelihood that combustible dust will be present in an area and classifies the area for the appropriate division (or zone) rating.
“PCI values the expertise the BakerRisk consultants brought to the assessment. In addition, their professionalism dealing with PCI and the Ministry of Labor was exemplary. We would not hesitate to use BakerRisk again in the future and would highly recommend their services to others.”
Mike VanderpolPresident, Perth County Ingredients