Ten Key Steps to Prevent Dust Explosions

by Lyn Bates


1. Ensure that the entire flow route is enclosed within a coherent, professionally designed system of containment, inert atmosphere, suppression or venting.

2. Verify that all electrical equipment, drives, cabling, lighting, fitting, instruments and control panels within the zoned area, conform to relevant standards and regulations.

3. Incorporate positive seal breaks between defined zones of isolation.

4. Employ substantial earth connections between all relevant sections of plant and periodically check their integrity.

5. Review the flow route and employ best design methods to minimise particle attrition, dust generation and dispersion.

6. Use only flameproof inspection lamps, spark-proof spanners and approved tools for working in rated areas.

7. Allow site work to be undertaken only through work permits and method statement procedures on plant that is certified clean and vented by way of a vetted program. Hot work, including burning, welding, grinding and drilling, to be especially authorised and carried out under the control of a responsible person.

8. Have a systematic maintenance programme and inspection procedure for checking bearings, seals and working parts. Examine for rubbing contact, belt slip and alignment, for any signs of wear or overheating.

9. Prohibit the presence of mobile phones, electronic, electrical and unprotected battery operated devices, including battery operated cameras, in zoned areas.

10. Employ best design practice to avoid dust-holding surfaces and good housekeeping to prevent dust accumulation.




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