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In case you missed it, NFPA published their new COM DUST standard last month.  This FIRST edition of NFPA 652, Standard on Combustible Dusts, was issued by the Standards Council on August 18, 2015, with an effective date of September 7, 2015.  NFPA 652, Standard on the Fundamentals of Combustible Dust, provides the general requirements for management of combustible dust fire and explosion hazards and directs the user to NFPA’s industry- or commodity-specific standards, as appropriate:

WARNING - this video shows the ignition of the dust cloud and people within the dust cloud on fire and trying to escape.  The sights and sounds of this video ARE VERY GRAPHIC in nature, but shows the hazards of Corn Starch and its ease to ignite. 

Corn Starch has one of the lowest MIE's in the Combustible Dust family.  We do not yet know the ignition source, but a high wattage concert light bulb or a lit cigarette would be enough to ignite this cloud of corn starch.

As you watch this video, remember the five (5) things that have to be present for a COM DUST incident:

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) completed a study of combustible dust hazards in late 2006, which identified 281 combustible dust incidents between 1980 and 2005 that killed 119 workers and injured another 718.  Based on these findings, the CSB recommended OSHA pursue a rulemaking on this issue. OSHA has previously addressed aspects of this risk. For example, on July 31, 2005, OSHA published the Safety and Health Information Bulletin, ‘‘Combustible Dust in Industry: Preventing and Mitigating the Effects of Fire and Explosions.’’ Additionally, OSHA implemented a Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program (NEP) on March 11, 2008, launched a new Web page, and issued several other guidance documents. However, the Agency does not have a comprehensive standard that addresses combustible dust hazards. OSHA will use the information gathered from the NEP to assist in the development of this rule.

The purpose of this memorandum is to provide guidance in calculating the levels of dust accumulations that may be allowed at workplaces for combustible dusts with bulk densities less than 75 lb/ft3.  The guidance provided in this memorandum supplements the dust accumulation guidance provided in several sections of CPL 03-00-008, Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program (Reissued), including IX.E.3.c and d; IX.E.8; and IX.E.9.c and d.

Several sections of CPL 03-00-008, Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program (Reissued), reference 1/32 inch dust accumulation levels. This accumulation thickness is based on certain assumptions, including uniformity of the dust layer covering the surfaces and a bulk density of 75 lb/ ft3 of the material.  NFPA 654 (2013) allows the dust accumulation level to exceed the layer depth criteria of 1/32 inch according to the following equation for materials with bulk density less than 75 lb/ft3:

  1. OSHA memo Evaluating Hazardous Levels of Accumulation Depth for Combustible Dusts (4/21/15)
  2. Ohio Combustible Dust Rule (1301:7-7-13 Combustible dust-producing operations)
  3. Poor Design and Failure to Test Dust Collection System Among Causes of Flash Fire that Burned Seven Workers in 2012 (CSB)
  4. Storage Practices: Grain Elevator Explosions (USFA)
  5. UPDATE: "Evidence suggests blast caused International Nutrition accident" as reported by Omaha Herald
  6. Dust Explosion or Collapse leading to explosion
  7. Preliminary First Draft Proposed 2015 Edition NFPA 652
  8. Grain bin explosion caught on camera
  9. Coal Dust Explosion during controlled blast (video)
  10. Flour Explosion Demo (Discovery Channel)
  11. Coal Dust Explosion Demo by FM Global
  12. COMBUSTIBLE DUST Producing Processes (Ontario Fire Code Illustrated Commentary)
  13. “Worker Protection against Combustible Dust Explosions and Fires Act of 2013” (H.R. 691)
  14. Dust explosions in the food industry
  15. CSB - Iron in the Fire (Com Dust Fatality Investigation)
  16. Difference of Airborne dusts vs. pile of dusts
  17. Combustible metal dust testing (Video)
  18. 60 Minutes Special on Combustible Dusts Issues
  19. Dust Collector / Bag House Dust Explosion (VIDEO)
  20. CSB Imperial Sugar Accident Animation Video
  21. Inferno: Dust Explosion at Imperial Sugar
  22. Combustible Dust: An Insidious Hazard
  23. Mythbusters - Creamer Cannon (Video)
  24. Saw Dust Explosion (Video)
  25. Dust Explosion created from 12lbs of material
  26. MSHA coal dust explosion demonstration
  27. Dust explosion in closed vessel (Video)
  28. Grain Dust Explosion threw Kevin Saunders 300 feet killed 10 (Video)
  29. Grain Dust Explosion Simulator (Video)
  30. How Dust Explodes (Video)
  31. How Much dust is too much?
  32. Hazardous Materials: Dust Collection Explosion Vents
  33. Interesting EU Dust Explosion Stats
  34. NFPA's Dust Standard 654 is REVISED for the 2011 edition

(A) Section 1301 General

(1) 1301.1 Scope. The equipment, processes and operations involving dust explosion hazards shall comply with the provisions of this rule.

(2) 1301.2 Permits. Permits shall be required for combustible dust-producing operations as set forth in rule 1301:7-7-01 of the Administrative Code.

(B) Section 1302 Definitions

(1) 1302.1 Definition. The following word and term shall, for the purposes of this rule and as used elsewhere in this code, have the meaning shown herein.

"Combustible dust." Finely divided solid material which is 420 microns or less in diameter and which, when dispersed in air in the proper proportions, could be ignited by a flame, spark or other source of ignition. Combustible dust will pass through a U.S. No. 40 standard sieve.

(C) Section 1303 Precautions

(1) 1303.1 Sources of ignition. Smoking or the use of heating or other devices employing an open flame, or the use of spark-producing equipment is prohibited in areas where combustible dust is generated, stored, manufactured, processed or handled.

(2) 1303.2 Housekeeping. Accumulation of combustible dust shall be kept to a minimum in the interior of buildings. Accumulated combustible dust shall be collected by vacuum cleaning or other means that will not place combustible dust into suspension in air. Forced air or similar methods shall not be used to remove dust from surfaces.

(D) Section 1304 Explosion protection

(1) 1304.1 Standards. The fire code official is authorized to enforce applicable provisions of the codes and standards listed in Table 1304.1 of this rule to prevent and control dust explosions.

Table 1304.1 Explosion protection standards

Standard Subject
NFPA 61 as listed in rule 1301:7-7-47 of the Administrative Code Agriculture and food products
NFPA 69 as listed in rule 1301:7-7-47 of the Administrative Code Explosion prevention
NFPA 70 as listed in rule 1301:7-7-47 of the Administrative Code National Electrical Code
NFPA 85 as listed in rule 1301:7-7-47 of the Administrative Code Boiler and combustion systems hazards
NFPA 120 as listed in rule 1301:7-7-47 of the Administrative Code Coal preparation plants
NFPA 484 as listed in rule 1301:7-7-47 of the Administrative Code Combustible metals, metal powders and metal dusts
NFPA 654 as listed in rule 1301:7-7-47 of the Administrative Code Manufacturing, processing and handling of combustible particulate solids
NFPA 655 as listed in rule 1301:7-7-47 of the Administrative Code Prevention of sulfur fires and explosions
NFPA 664 as listed in rule 1301:7-7-47 of the Administrative Code Prevention of fires and explosions in wood processing and woodworking facilities


Replaces: 1301:7-7-13

Effective: 11/01/2011

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/01/2016

Promulgated Under: 119.03

Statutory Authority: 3737.22 , 3737.82

Rule Amplifies: 3737.22 , 3737.82

Prior Effective Dates: 7/1/79, 6/1/85, 6/15/92, 7/1/93, 9/1/95, 3/30/98, 1/3/00, 9/1/05, 7/1/07

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