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When it comes to combustible dust what you don’t know could result in catastrophe, so regular scheduled assessments are important. Here are 5 things owners and managers need to keep in mind about combustible dust assessments.

  1. A combustible dust assessment is your friend. Yes it’s an expense and it’s time consuming, but assessments are performed to help identify and define hazardous conditions and risk so they may be eliminated or controlled. There are six things a combustible dust assessment should examine. They are
    1. Processes
    2. Systems
    3. Subsystems
    4. Components
    5. Actions (or lack of actions)
    6. Interrelationships
  2. Keep in mind that a good dust loss assessment is not easy. The dust in your facility may not be coming from a single source, but rather may be resulting from events that occur simultaneously or a chain of events.
  3. A dust analysis and review can and should be used wherever a dust condition exist. A well-performed and documented dust hazard analysis will lessen the probability of a loss occurring. The assessment will help identify hazards and implement safeguards.
  4. A dust hazard analysis uses recognized standards and levels of conduct considered to be what a prudent person would normally do to prevent a loss. It shows that industry standards have been followed in design and operation. According to Walter. S Beattie, CSP, CFPS, CSHM it’s a documented methodology to defend ones actions. You’ll need such documentation should you incur a combustible dust fire especially one that takes the life of one of your employees.
  5. We mentioned above that a combustible dust assessment should examine the components used. It’s important not to overlook this area of the analysis to ensure that compatible parts and methods are used and followed. It ensures that a level of specification is followed and that inferior components are removed from the process.