THOMASVILLE, NC - The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that at least 30,000 U.S. facilities and hundreds of types of processes may be at risk for a combustible dust explosion.By recent estimates, on average two to three dust explosions occur in various manufacturing facilities in the U.S. every day.
Dantherm Filtration’s Explosion Isolation Flap is a fast-acting mechanical barrier designed to isolate the hazardous effects of an explosion in a dust collector or other equipment.
It also insures that no flames or explosion pressure are spread back through your duct to endanger your employees and other vital equipment. It is robustly constructed and certified as a protective system in accordance with ATEX Directive 94/9/EC. Contact the experts at Dantherm to learn more about how to stay safe from combustible dust explosions. Call 800-533-5286 or visit combustible dust explosion.
Dantherm Filtration held its first symposium on Combustible Dust at its N.C.. headquarters this spring. Over fifty attendees learned about the causes and how to prevent combustible dust fires and explosions. They also learned about how NFPA requirements are applied to dust collection equipment and how to avoid being fined by OSHA. “As a leader in the manufacturer and maintenance of dust collection equipment, we believe it is our responsibility to educate industrial users about combustible dust hazards and show them how to protect their employees and facilities”, says Dantherm Filtration President, Tom Ballus. Dantherm will also be offering this symposium at their plant in Reno, NV this summer. To learn more, contact them at 1-800-533-5286 ext. 887 or visit us online.
OSHA’s first line of enforcement is the General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1). It can be very broadly interpreted and requires employers to take measures to control the dangers of specific hazards to protect employees in the workplace.
The U.S. government gave OSHA authority to enforce NFPA standards. They also tasked OSHA to make its own laws in the future to prevent combustible dust explosions in U.S. manufacturing facilities. NFPA publishes a great number of standards relating to combustible dusts.
The main standards are: NFPA 654 - Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions for the Manufacturing, Processing and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids (a revised, more comprehensive NFPA 654 will be issued in June of this year); NFPA 69 – dealing with explosion/deflagaration prevention; and NFPA 68 – relating to vent of deflagrations to force that hazard to a safe area.
ATEX – Testing & Certification
As OSHA is gathering information to determine what it will develop for future laws relating to combustible dust, one thing being looked at is Europe’s closest equivalent to NFPA standards – ATEX. ATEX stands for ATmosphere EXplosive. It is the law in the European Union for dealing with combustible dust and potentially explosive concentrations of gas, vapor or mist in the air.
There are two main ATEX directives: ATEX 1999/92/EC, which concerns the safety and health of workers potentially at risk from exposure to explosive atmospheres; and ATEX 94/9/EC, which concerns the testing and certification of equipment and protective systems used in potentially explosive atmospheres.
In the countries of the European Union, only ATEX certified equipment is allowed in locations where there is potential for combustible dust explosions. Although there is currently no testing certification required in the U.S., American manufacturers are seeing the benefits of equipment that has been explosion tested and has achieved ATEX certification. For equipment manufacturers, in addition to providing “tested” equipment to their U.S. customers, they are also able to sell into the European market and to U.S. based European companies that require their equipment to meet the more stringent European standards.
While ATEX is currently only required in Europe, it could well become the International standard (including the U.S. - as ISO 9000 did years ago. Contact your dust collection experts to learn more.
Source: Dantherm, www.danthermfiltration.us
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