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Combustible dust

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Overview

Essentially, any material “that will burn in air” in a solid form has the ability to catch fire and explode as a dust. Sources of combustible dust include most solid organic materials such as sugar, flour, grain, and wood; many metals; and some nonmetallic inorganic materials. The potential for a dust explosion depends on many factors, including as the dust particle’s size, shape, and moisture content. The build-up of even a small amount of dust on surfaces such as rafters, roofs, suspended ceilings, ducts, and window sills can cause serious damage if an explosion occurs. Any activity that creates dust should be investigated to determine if there is a risk that the dust is combustible.

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  • Program Directives
    • National Emphasis Program (NEP): Combustible Dust
      Purpose: This instruction contains policies and procedures for inspecting workplaces that have combustible dusts that are likely to cause dust deflagrations, other fires, or explosions.
      A-268  06/05/2015

Borrow from the Resource Center

Watch Online

  • Inferno: Dust Explosion at Imperial Sugar
    On February 7, 2008, fourteen workers were fatally burned in a series of sugar dust explosions at the Imperial Sugar plant near Savannah, Georgia. This CSB safety video explains how the accident occurred.​
    English 9.28 minutes  

Additional Resources


 

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