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You may not realize it but dust from a number of everyday materials can become explosive under the right conditions: grains, sugar, metals, plastics, coal, coffee creamer, corn – just to name a few. Checkout our post on 101 Things That Explode.

Because of this potential for explosion, dust hazards exist in nearly every industry you can think of:

  • Food processing
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Automotive
  • Textiles
  • Cosmetics
  • Refining

Dust clouds created by these everyday materials have caused some of the worst industrial accidents in history. Usually, energized electrical equipment or a flame is the incentive for dust suspended in the air to catch fire and explode, setting off a chain reaction throughout the entire plant. According to federal investigators there have been an estimated 281 dust explosions over the past 25 years. Dust explosions destroy property, cause profit loss, and end lives.

However, according to the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB), every one of those injuries and deaths could have easily been prevented with effective housekeeping, workforce training, and preplanning. (View the CSB’s in-depth Combustible Dust video)

KPRC 2 out of Houston, Texas recently investigated the dangers of combustible dust in the workplace. See the full report by investigative reporter Bill Spencer.

One of the best ways to prevent and control dust hazards is by removing it via regular house keeping, and scheduled high surface cleaning for areas out of sight and out of reach.

IMC performs high surface cleaning by using Explosion Proof HEPA-filtered vacuums with attached brushes to provide surface cleaning of loose particulate debris. Wet wiping, or wiping with a chemically treated cloth, are also methods utilized to control the dust and debris from cross contaminating into other areas.

If you’re interested in discovering more about how to safeguard your investment in your people, and property from deadly hazards such as dust explosions, please give us a call.