NFPA 652 Compliance and Dust Hazard Analysis (DHA)

Recording Available: Meeting the DHA Deadline in the Time of COVID

Due to the increased amount of dust flash explosions and fires across a variety of industries, the NFPA 652 standard on Fundamentals of Combustible Dust has been released to address related hazards and safety risks. This new standard was developed to cover the fundamentals of combustible dust safety practices. The NFPA 652 standard creates a uniform set of rules to be followed by plants and facilities of any industry, for a range of applications and materials.

What is Combustible Dust?

NFPA 652 refers to Combustible Dust as:

A finely divided combustible particulate solid that presents a flash-fire hazard or explosion hazard when suspended in air of the process-specific oxidizing medium over a range of concentrations.

When combustible dust, oxidants and ignition sources are combined, the risk of a flash fire or a fire increases greatly.

What are the Risks of Dust Cloud Explosions?

Combustible dust and explosions cause an alarming amount of hazardous events, including:

  • Fatalities
  • Injuries
  • Factory Damage
  • Economic Losses

What is a DHA?

The NFPA 652 Standard requires that plant owners and facilitators perform a Dust Hazard Analysis, which is a thorough review of processes and risks specifically in areas where combustible particulate solids are present. The DHA is meant to be performed by a qualified person who is familiar with combustible dust, the facility, and operations. DHA also helps break down the processes to identify any fire, flash-fire or explosion hazards that are present in the facility. Each location is subject to categorization to determine risks:

  • Not a hazard
  • Might be a hazard
  • Deflagration (Fire)

When hazards are noted, safe operating ranges need to be defined with a list of hazard management options.

The purpose of performing a DHA is to help identify and reduce hazards in your processing facility that may not have previously been identified. Proper analysis will increase prevention measures on these hazards and reduce potential for fatalities and injuries.

Compliance Deadline for DHAs

DHA for existing facilities and processes must be conducted by September 7, 2020. The NFPA 652 compliance deadline was extended, but requires that facility owners and managers demonstrate notable progress towards safer practices before the deadline.

For more information on NFPA 652 and DHA, contact Hastings Air today!

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