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Combustible Dust: The Threat to First Responders

  • Broadcast in Business



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Conversations with Heroes at the Watering Hole will feature a discussion with John Astad and Justin Clift on Combustible Dust Hazards that are unknowingly present when emergency responders respond to combustible dust related fires and explosion in the manufacturing, non-manufacturing, utility sectors. In the past, fire-fighter fatalities and injuries have occurred when responding to these incidents. These occurrences could have been prevented if responders understood the hidden and unknown dangers of combustible dust found throughout the diverse multitude of manufacturing facilities. Currently a situational awareness is lacking nationwide that combustible dust also poses a potential explosive atmosphere in the same light as flammable gases, vapors, and mists. Instead of vapor cloud or BLEVE explosions that occur in the refining sector there are deflagrations and dust explosions in the manufacturing sector. According to OSHA, “any combustible material (and some materials normally considered noncombustible) can burn rapidly when in a finely divided form. If such a dust is suspended in air in the right concentration, it can become explosive. The force from such an explosion can cause employee deaths, injuries, and destruction of entire buildings.