OSHA and the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety offer the following recommendations for reducing the potential for combustible dust explosions.

OSHA:

  1. Implement a hazardous dust inspection, testing, housekeeping and control program.
  2. Use proper dust collection systems.
  3. Regularly inspect for dust residues in open and hidden areas.
  4. If ignition sources are present, use cleaning methods that do not generate dust clouds.
  5. Control smoking, open flames and sparks, including mechanical sparks and friction.

CCOHS:

  1. Refrain from using brooms or compressed air to clean dust. Rather, use a vacuum approved specifically for dust collection. Be sure to clean “hidden” areas where dust can settle, including in ventilation shafts, on support beams and behind false ceilings.
  2. Avoid having flat, unused surfaces where dust can accumulate.
  3. Ensure your facility uses and maintains appropriate ventilation equipment and systems.
  4. Be aware that worn equipment, such as bearings, can generate heat and become an ignition source. Keep all equipment in good condition.
  5. Eliminate unnecessary sources of ignition, including heat sources, friction, sparks and open flames.