Dust Explosion Mitigation Codes & Standards

Codes & Standards

On October 18, 2007 the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released a directive initiating a National Emphasis Program (NEP) to address the hazards associated with combustible dusts. In the wake of a large explosion at a sugar refining facility OSHA reissued a revised Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program on March 3, 2008.

Currently OSHA does not have a specific standard to address combustible dust hazards or how to address dust explosion mitigation. However, the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) has several standards that address these hazards. The responsibility of compliance with applicable standards falls upon the owner / operator of facilities handling combustible dusts.  Several NFPA “keyway” standards exist depending on the type of facility you operate.  Some facilities may require compliance with more than one standard:

  • NFPA 61 Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Dust Explosions in Agricultural and Food Processing Facilities
  • NFPA 484 Standard for Combustible Metals
  • NFPA 652 Standard on Combustible Dust
  • NFPA 654 Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids
  • NFPA 655 Standard for Prevention of Sulfur Fires and Explosions

In addition to the “keyway” standards, several “how to” standards exist to assist owner/operators to meet compliance with the “keyway” standard that governs their process or facility:

  • NFPA 68 Standard on Explosion Protection by Deflagration Venting
  • NFPA 69 Standard on Explosion Prevention Systems
  • NFPA 499 Recommended Practice for the Classification of Combustible Dusts and of Hazardous (Classified) Locations for Electrical Installations in Chemical Process Areas

Additional codes have been developed by FM Global based on property loss data sheets.

For additional information regarding the National Fire Protection Agency please visit www.nfpa.org

For additional information regarding the United States Occupational Safety & Health Administration visit www.osha.gov

For additional information regarding FM Global Property Loss Data Sheets visit www.fmglobal.com/fmglobalregistration/