New OSHA Resource on Combustible Dust Fires
OSHA has published a new booklet that outlines safe procedures for emergency responders who may face fires and explosions caused by combustible dust.
Firefighting Precautions at Facilities with Combustible Dust will help keep emergency response and facility workers safe, says OSHA. Fire chiefs and other stakeholders who have reviewed the booklet describe it as “an excellent resource for explaining the hazards associated with combustible dust and outlining the best practices for pre-incident operational preparation by emergency responders.”
Since 1980, more than 130 workers have been killed and more than 780 injured in combustible dust explosions. The booklet describes how combustible dust explosions occur and uses previous incidents to illustrate how firefighting operations can prevent combustible dust explosions. The publication also explains the preparations emergency responders can make before a response and how these preparations will affect the operational plan during a response.
Combustible dusts include fine particles, fibers, chips, chunks or flakes that, under certain conditions, can cause a fire or explosion when suspended in air. Types of dusts include metals such as aluminum and magnesium, wood, plastic, rubber, coal, flour, sugar and paper, among others.
For more information, visit OSHA’s Combustible Dust page.
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