A safety professional walks agricultural and food processing companies through dust hazard analysis, NFPA 61 compliance, and leading options to address the risk of combustible dust explosions.
For owners and operators in the agricultural and food processing industries, 1 Jan 2022 was the deadline for completion of a dust hazard analysis (DHA) for existing facilities in accordance with Chapter 7 of the National Fire Protection Association’s Standard 61 (2020), for the Prevention of Fires and Dust Explosions in Agricultural and Food Processing Facilities. NFPA 61 and other related NFPA Standards detail essential strategies and procedures for the protection of people, processes and property from the hazards presented by fires and dust explosions in facilities handling, processing, and storing bulk grains, their by-products, and other agricultural related combustible dusts. All new processes and facilities handling and generating combustible dusts are now required to perform a DHA.
Appendix F of NFPA 61 (2020) provides a comprehensive checklist which serves as a blueprint for generating a DHA. This check list includes evaluating the dust explosion protection for process equipment that can often be at risk such as bucket elevators, conveyors, grinders, silos, and systems for spray drying and dust collection.
Recognising the risk of non-compliance along with the potential liability, grain and food processors have completed their mandated DHA, and are working through the determination of what the next steps are to comply with NFPA 61 as a component of their local jurisdictional safety requirements. This includes making decisions relating to the explosion protection of process equipment which can represent a considerable financial investment requiring careful consideration.
The full article can be found here.