OSHA reports that more than 3,500 combustible dust explosions have occurred over the last 28 years. In 280 major incidents, over 700 injuries and 119 deaths occurred.
Dust explosions occurs when a sufficient amount of dust particles (fuel) disperse in the air (oxygen) and become exposed to a certain temperature (heat) in a confide space. According to OSHA, these five factors (oxygen, heat, fuel, dispersion and confinement) are knows as the “Dust Explosion Pentagon.” All elements must be present for a combustible dust explosion to occur.
Businesses are always looking for ways to save money, especially millions of dollars. Did you know? Dust can cost your company millions of dollars – more specifically, an explosion from combustible dust. It is a hazard that often goes unnoticed until it’s too late. A combustible dust explosion typically destroys buildings beyond repair due to the amount of combustible particulates that accumulates on surfaces.
So what is combustible dust?
There were more than 82 dust-related fires or explosions over the last decade, according to OSHA.
Organic, metallic and some nonmetal inorganic materials can cause a combustible dust explosion. Some materials, such as powdered metals or flour, are intentionally created to become powder, while other materials like synthetic fibers and paper, unintentionally generate dust.