Disregarding safety measures on combustible dust fires risks the lives of your workers and leads to hefty fines, production downtime, loss of wages and future inspection scrutiny. Case in point, a British Columbia wood pellet plant left 3 workers seriously injured after a combustible dust explosion. Also, a Cleveland auto coatings plant was handed a $63,300 fine by OSHA for combustible dust hazards violations.

To avoid such issues, your company should strictly adhere to these 5 tips to cut combustible dust fires in factories.

Perform Regular Equipment Maintenance

Any equipment that produces a dust cloud should be immediately shut down and repaired. Regular maintenance should be conducted to make sure that all machines work properly.

Minimize Dust

OSHA regulations state that dust accumulation should not go past 1/32 of an inch at any part of a factory. Failure to control the level of dust raises the risk of combustible dust fires. Your company is also liable to hefty fines by OSHA. It is, therefore, important to run a proper housekeeping program that keeps dust levels on a minimal.

Clean Using Caution

While cleaning, make sure that no dust is suspended in the air. Dust should be cleaned using a vacuum that is right for that type of application. Also, don’t forget to clean the overhead and the hard to reach places.

Control Static Electricity

Do not use any machine if static electricity is present because a simple spark can cause a combustible dust fire. All the machines and equipment should be grounded and bonded to cut the production of static.

Get Rid of All Risk Areas

Install relief valves away from dust hazards.

It is important to note that the battle against combustible dust takes more than these five working steps. You should take the time to acquaint yourself with all the NFPA and OSHA guidelines, come up with an effective housekeeping plan and train your workers on the benefits of dust removal.