If your plant produces hazardous by-products, then it’s in your best interest to find useful solutions for eliminating the risks. Combustible dust is one of the most dangerous by-products.

Combustible dust is metallic or non-metallic airborne dust that can cause a dust explosion in your factory or plant. Any dust with a KST value that is higher than zero can cause an explosion.

Dangers of Combustible Dust

If combustible dust is not eliminated and left unattended, it can cause a major explosion. This is considered a hazardous workplace. Combustible dust causes:

  • Death or serious injuries to workers
  • Long-term environmental damage
  • Business interruptions
  • Property damage

High-Risk Industries and Applications

Some industries are considered to be riskier than others. The following industries have combustible dust as a by-product according to OSHA.

  • Agricultural products such as wood flour, sugar and powdered milk
  • Metal dust like zinc, aluminum and magnesium
  • Agricultural dust from tomatoes, carrots, cocoa beans and rice flour
  • Chemical dust like sulfur, dextrose, sulfur and lead stearate
  • Plastic dust such as phenolic resin, polyethylene and acrylamide
  • Carbonaceous dust like cellulose, charcoal and lignite.
  • The high-risk industries and applications are:
  • Foundry – tumbling mills, shakeout, handling and abrasive cleaning.
  • Metalwork – cutting, finishing or grinding metals such as titanium, aluminum and magnesium and others.
  • Rubber processing – mixing and grinding talc dusting, batch-out rolls and de-dusting.
  • Food processing – mixing, grinding, bagging, packaging, and blending sugars, flour etc.
  • Coal mining – handling materials, de-dusting, air cleaning and drying.
  • Pharmaceutical processing – mixing, blending, grinding and packaging.
  • Chemical processing – material handling, crushing, grinding, roasters, coolers and kilns.
  • Ceramics – enamel spray and raw product handling.
  • Woodwork – woodworking machines, waste conveying and sanding.