Reducing dust combustion hazards with an industrial dust collection system

Many industries generate a range of combustible dust during stages of the manufacturing and shutdown processes. The toxic and irritating dust released into the air can affect your team and can accumulate on surfaces and in crevices throughout the plant. Dust can catch fire or explode, react with materials around it, interrupt or reduce production and affect the health of workers. It’s imperative for plant leaders to recognize the risks associated with combustible dust and put appropriate measures in place to manage combustible dust hazards in their facilities. These measures include the use of an industrial dust collection system, an essential part of confined space management.

What is a combustible dust?

A combustible dust is any fine material that, upon ignition, can catch fire or explode when mixed with air. Examples of materials that can be combustible dust hazards include:

  • Wood
  • Chemical dust such as sulphur and coal
  • Rubber
  • Textiles
  • Plastics
  • Metals such as bronze, aluminum, etc.
  • Agricultural products such as powdered milk, sugar, flour, grain, etc.
  • Pesticides
  • Pharmaceuticals

Primary and secondary explosions

Primary dust explosions involve a cloud of dust that is held captive within a limited or enclosed space. The dust can ignite and explode if subjected to a heat source. The primary explosion can cause a pressure wave that disturbs and shakes up settled dust from other areas within a facility, causing its dispersion and then a much larger and more destructive explosion— the secondary dust explosion. Most of the damage and fatalities resulting from explosion accidents are caused by the secondary wave.

Industrial dust collection system

Many process requirements may render the elimination of dust impractical. Nevertheless, it’s still very possible to manage the spread of dust within your facility using an appropriate and effective industrial dust collection system. This system can capture all toxic particles and contaminants from the air which benefits the plant’s personnel and surrounding community. This technology is also used in the control of dust and metal fumes from turnaround and shutdown work.

A well-designed, properly selected, properly maintained and operated industrial dust collection system can help manage the presence of dispersed combustible dust hazard. This helps reduce the risk of dust explosions in the plant. If the process involves cutting or breaking concrete or other materials, respirable crystalline silica may be released into the air and managing these toxic particles calls for the application of industrial dust collection systems.

If you work with products that produce dust, your project may need industrial dust collection system to keep the air in your surrounding environment clean and safe. You can rely on Proveo to help you pick the right system. Proveo is an industry-leading expert in confined space management and industrial safety, for assistance in choosing the industrial dust collection system that suits your facility’s needs, contact our team.