The Dangers of Ignoring Combustible Dust Issues

At Glacier Technology, we are passionate about the topic of combustible dust. That’s because we understand the life-shattering potential of a  combustible dust explosion.

Combustible Dust Explosion

Combustible dust is a risk that is far too overlooked, and seriously underestimated. Systems that lack the proper safeguards for combustible dust ignition can result in consequences ranging from fines for noncompliance to devastating explosions and loss of life.

Tragedy Brings Awareness of Combustible Dust Dangers

The Metal-Matic explosion, which occurred in Minneapolis just last year, offers a sobering example of what is at stake. Two employees were badly injured in a combustible dust explosion that happened in the metal fabrication plant on September 19, 2018. The explosion which occurred in a shed, happened near the end of the plant’s first shift and while other employees waited in their vehicles for the next shift to start. The Minneapolis Fire Department confirmed that the explosion occurred when a pipe welding torch ignited a mixture of aluminum dust and water.

Stricter Combustible Dust Regulations

Since the Imperial Sugar Disaster of 2008, rigorous and demanding regulatory standards for managing combustible dusts have increased, raising awareness in the field. Under the Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program (NEP), which was reissued following the disaster, OSHA ramped up its vigilance and enforcement of worker safety regulations in plants that handle combustible dusts. Manufacturers of dust collection equipment have responded to the need for solutions with innovative devices and systems for preventing and isolating combustible dust explosions.

Dependable combustible dust safety solutions are available, but the responsibility lies with facility managers to be proactive and responsible.

Combustible Dust Safety Is Still Being Ignored

Glacier Technology knows how to implement reliable solutions for containing and/or eliminating those risks. Our team has the advantage of extensive experience as well as strategic partnerships we’ve developed with manufacturers of the industry’s best dust collection equipment.

Unfortunately, all too often, we have had the frustrating experience of seeing dangerous and non-compliant systems willfully ignored. We have actually had plans developed by engineering firms sent to us for spec, which are non-compliant with NFPA standards for combustible dust collection. Especially disturbing was a recent project involving a school renovation.

When the plans were sent to us for pricing on a new dust collector, we identified three areas that needed combustible dust accommodation, and recommended the appropriate equipment solutions. The school did accept for one of the recommendations, but the  others were rejected. Subsequently Glacier Technology had to refuse the job since without all three recommendations, the system was not compliant.  We refuse to compromise on safety with any job, but especially a school.

Saving Money is Important. Saving Lives is More Important.

We understand that budgets matter and costs can be prohibitive when designing new dust collection systems or upgrading existing systems. While we won’t compromise on safety, we will work harder than anyone in the business to develop a system for you that is both compliant and within your project budget. From our superior equipment manufacturer relationships to our unsurpassed track record in designing combustible dust systems, we are positioned to meet your needs with a solution that is safe, efficient, and dependable.

Don’t go another day operating with a system that puts lives at risk. Read this informative PDF that offers important resources on need-to-know combustible dust issues. And contact our team to talk about a custom combustible dust solution designed to meet your needs.
 

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