St. Louis, MO, September 1st
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced it had cited a grain facility for workplace safety failures following a dust explosion. The company in Missouri faces proposed penalties of over $200,000 for one willful and six serious safety violations.
According to OSHA, had the firm addressed potential dust ignition sources, an explosion that seriously injured an employee and caused the destruction of a main elevator at a grain loading facility might not have happened. The agency also noted that the company had not updated its dust collection system since its installation in 1974.
Combustible dusts are fine particles that present an explosion hazard when suspended in air under certain conditions. They can be a potentially deadly hazard for workers and can cause massive destruction to property. OSHA reports that five elements are necessary to initiate a dust explosion, often referred to as the Dust Explosion Pentagon. The first three elements are those needed for a fire, i.e., the familiar Fire Triangle:
- Combustible dust (fuel)
- Ignition source (heat)
- Oxygen in air (oxidizer)
An additional two elements must be present for a combustible dust explosion:
- Dispersion of dust particles in sufficient quantity and concentration
- Confinement of the dust cloud
“There are many industries that face combustible dust hazards,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Examples listed by OSHA include agriculture, chemicals, food, grain, fertilizer, tobacco, plastics, wood, forest, paper, pulp, rubber, furniture, textiles, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, tire and rubber manufacturing, dyes, coal, metal processing, recycling operations, and power generation by coal. Monitoring environmental conditions are critical for industries at risk to prevent a combustible dust explosion. Therefore, EMSL continues to provide combustible dust laboratory services and air monitoring instruments, key components for safety programs designed to identify combustible dust dangers.”
EMSL has also sponsored an educational video about combustible dust hazards that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/xX0apupkO3E.
To learn more about combustible dust testing or air monitoring instruments, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675, or email info@EMSL.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products, and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP, and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.