Fauske and Associates (FAI) has announced that it offers consulting services to assess companies' compliance with the OSHA National Emphasis Programme (NEP) on dust explosion hazards.
Dust explosions are a serious hazard in industries.
They lead to the loss of production, plant/facility destruction and personnel injury or fatality.
In 2005, the US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board issued a report stating that between 1980 and 2005, at least 281 deadly dust explosions occurred in the US, killing 119 people and injuring 718 others while extensively damaging or destroying facilities.
Congressional hearings led to the severe criticism of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for lack of vigilance by the US Chemical Safety Board.
As a result, in March 2008 OSHA initiated a NEP to lead its inspectors in cracking down on dust explosion hazards.
OSHA Directive Number CPL 03-00-008 states: 'This directive contains policies and procedures for inspecting workplaces that create or handle combustible dusts.
'In some circumstances, these dusts may cause a deflagration, other fires, or an explosion.' In the wake of an explosion in February, which killed 14 and injured 38 others at the Imperial Sugar Company Port Wentworth Refinery, the OSHA mandate follows what many experts believe to be a no-brainer for all facilities creating dust particles.
The entire industry is now awake and has resulted in additional Congressional hearings.
Possible combustible dust facilities or plants are those handling chemical, metal and plastic dusts such as: agricultural produce packaging and powder handling facilities; agglomeration and briquetting facilities; brick/clay/ceramic industry plants; carbonaceous dust-handling plants/manufacturers; commercial and residential furniture manufacturing plants; construction and demolition recycling facilities; erosion industry facilities; filtration plants; hardware manufacturing facilities; industrial hygiene facilities; pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities; small shop - for example, woodworking/cabinetry facilities; valves, gates, and airlock facilities.
Ashok Ghose Dastidar, manager, dust and flammability testing and consulting services for Fauske and Associates, said: 'To meet OSHA compliance companies must know their dust explosion hazard potential and address the risk - or face OSHA citations.
'FAI offers consulting services to assess companies' compliance with the OSHA NEP by providing the full suit of tests required to characterise the material explosion hazard potential.
'FAI provides dust explosion testing for the OSHA NEP addressing deflagration, other fire, and combustible dust explosion hazards.'