Fatal Wood Dust Explosion the Focus of BC Safety Authority Report

It was just over one year ago when a wood dust explosion took the lives of two mill workers and injured twenty others in Burns Lake, British Columbia. The explosion and fire also destroyed the sawmill facility.

In response, the B.C. Safety Authority (BCSA) released a recommendations report about the incident last month. The report makes nine recommendations to improve the identification and management of combustible dust hazardous locations in wood processing plants. One of the recommendations is to the Canadian Standards Association, it reads, “Specifically identify wood dust as a combustible dust belonging to group G dusts in section 18 of the Canadian Electrical Code, Part 1.” The report goes on to recommend that, “Industry professionals with the appropriate knowledge and experience necessary to evaluate the combustion risk of a potentially hazardous location, should be consulted to confirm the classification as hazardous, or not, and to evaluate the effectiveness of hazard management techniques.”

Wood dust has been recognized as a combustible dust hazard in the United States by the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA reports, “In addition to the health effects of wood dust, airborne dust can create the potential for a dust explosion.”

One of the leading combustible dust testing laboratories in North America is EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Wood dust is a common product and byproduct of many manufacturing processes,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical. “It’s critical that any business that creates wood dusts pays attention to the risks and prevention methods to avert injuries, deaths and the destruction of property. EMSL can help with combustible dust testing services for wood dusts and many other materials.”

EMSL recently sponsored an educational video about combustible dust hazards that can be seen at: http://youtu.be/xX0apupkO3E.

To learn more about combustible dust testing services, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800)220-3675 or email [email protected] .

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.


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