June 4, 2020
Combustible Dust Hazards Analysis Overview and Common Issues
Philip Parsons, BakerRisk
A Dust Hazard Analysis (DHA) is a valuable tool in identifying and preventing or mitigating combustible dust fire and explosion hazards. A DHA is also required under the relevant NFPA standard (i.e., NFPA 652) and should be complete by September 2020 for all facilities that handle or generate combustible dust. This article summarizes the elements of a DHA and identifies common hazards observed across a range of industries handling a variety of combustible particulate solids. The identified common hazards have all been causal factors in actual combustible dust fire or explosion incidents that resulted in the loss of life or severe injury, in addition to the loss of capital assets and business interruption. Performing a robust DHA should identify such hazards and, using the guidance provided in relevant NFPA standards, identify prevention and mitigation strategies that can be implemented to manage the risk associated with combustible dust fire and explosion hazards.