OSHA and the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety offer the following recommendations for reducing the potential for combustible dust explosions.
- Implement a hazardous dust inspection, testing, housekeeping and control program.
- Use proper dust collection systems.
- Regularly inspect for dust residues in open and hidden areas.
- If ignition sources are present, use cleaning methods that do not generate dust clouds.
- Control smoking, open flames and sparks, including mechanical sparks and friction.
- 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.
- Avoid having flat, unused surfaces where dust can accumulate.
- Ensure your facility uses and maintains appropriate ventilation equipment and systems.
- Be aware that worn equipment, such as bearings, can generate heat and become an ignition source. Keep all equipment in good condition.
- Eliminate unnecessary sources of ignition, including heat sources, friction, sparks and open flames.