Poorly Designed Dust Collector Led to Plant Fire

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dust collector fire protectionAn OSHA report found that a flash fire that burned 7 workers in August 2012 was caused by a poorly designed dust collector. 

OSHA found that the dust collector took one day to overheat, which caused a flash fire.  The plant failed to test the dust collector prior to use. 

According to the OSHA website, "The volume of the air flow and air velocity in the dust collection system was significantly below industry recommendations."

"Although OSHA's investigation of this accident deemed it a combustible dust explosion, it did not issue any dust related citations, doubtless hampered by the fact that there is no comprehensive combustible dust regulatory standard.  An OSHA standard would likely have required compliance with National Fire Protection Association codes that speak directly to such critical factors as dust containment and collection, hazard analysis, testing, ventilation, air flow, and fire suppression," said U.S. Chemical Safety Board Chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso.