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Dust Explosion Testing Mandated by New OSHA National Emphasis Program Performed by Fauske & Associates LLC

June 10, 2008
Dust explosions are a serious hazard in industries nationwide. They lead to the loss of production, plant/facility destruction, and personnel injury or fatality.

In 2005, the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board issued a report stating that between 1980 and 2005, at least 281 deadly dust explosions occurred in the U.S., killing 119 people and injuring 718 others while extensively damaging or destroying facilities. Congressional hearings led to the severe criticism of OSHA for lack of vigilance by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board. As a result, in October 2007, OSHA initiated a National Emphasis Program to lead their inspectors in cracking down on dust explosion hazards. 

OSHA Directive Number: CPL 03-00-006 states: “This directive contains policies and procedures for inspecting workplaces that create or handle combustible dusts.  In some circumstances, these dusts may cause a deflagration, other fires, or an explosion.”

In the wake of February’s catastrophic explosion killing 11 at the Imperial Sugar Company Port Wentworth Refinery, the OSHA mandate follows what many experts believe to be a no-brainer for all facilities creating dust particles.  The entire industry is now awake and has resulted in additional Congressional hearings.

According to Ashok Ghose Dastidar Ph.D., MBA, acting manager, Dust & Flammability Testing and Consulting Services for Fauske & Associates LLC, “To meet OSHA compliance companies must know their dust explosion hazard potential and address the risk–or face OSHA citations. FAI offers consulting services to assess companies’ compliance with the OSHA NEP by providing the full suit of dust explosibility tests required to characterize the material explosion hazard potential. FAI provides dust explosion testing for the OSHA National Emphasis Program addressing deflagration, other fire, and combustible dust explosion hazards.” 

FAI has been performing existing ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) and NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) standard testing for their customers. For details on the tests, please contact Dr. Dastidar at 1-877-Fauske1.