Combustible Dusts are a known hazard in a number of industrial fields. Recognizing dust as a potential hazard and taking the steps to mitigate the risks present are critical to the safety of your facility. The recently updated NFPA® 652: Standard on the Fundamentals of Combustible Dust is a useful resource for addressing combustible dust hazards and conducting a dust hazard analysis (DHA) within your facility.
In the US, the risk of dust fires or explosions has been acknowledged for several decades in particular industries. With the growth of new technologies, processes, and whole industries, however, awareness about combustible dust hazards has certainly grown in recent years. In 2007, OHSA highlighted this topic, encouraging inspections and spreading awareness through a national emphasis program (NEP). OSHA intensified its focus on combustible dust hazards following a catastrophic event at a sugar refinery that killed 14 workers in early 2008. In response, OSHA updated the NEP, targeting 64 types of industries. This version of the NEP identified clauses within 29 CFR 1910 and section 5(a) (1) of the OSH Act (also known and the General Duty Clause) that could be applied to issue citations in facilities that generate or handle combustible dusts. While OSHA removed the effort to create a specific combustible dust standard from its agenda in 2017, the NEP continues to be a method for OSHA to issue dust-related fines. In 2017 alone, OSHA conducted 422 inspections to target combustible dust safety.
Electrical equipment is a known ignition source in combustible dust environments. Spark and arc hazards, hot surfaces, and other electrical failures create ignition sources that, if not properly handled, pose a significant risk to electrical equipment in combustible dust environments. Proper design and deployment of equipment is necessary for safe operation. Pepperl+Fuchs is an industry leader in equipment for use in hazardous areas and has a wide range of products specifically designed for safe use in combustible dust areas. Additionally, our Solution Engineering Center (SEC) can work with you to customize solutions that meet your unique needs. The Bebco EPS® 7500 Series Type Z and Ex pzc purge and pressurization system is one of the newest innovations on our long list of products. Certified for Zone 22, Class II, and Class III locations, this product can be used to protect a wide range of equipment in combustible dust areas, both locally and globally.
For more information on the 7500 series purge and pressurization system, visit www.pepperl-fuchs.com/purge7500.