Aqua Coat found this interesting article in the August 2020 edition of Woodworking Network written by Ben Dipzinski. As woodworkers, we have responsibility to manage our wood waste. New requirements in NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) 652 “Standard on the fundamentals of Combustible Dust” took effect September 1, 2020 and therefore require immediate attention.
As defined by NFPA “combustible dust” is “A combustible particulate solid that presents a fire or deflagration hazard when suspended in air or some other oxidizing medium over a range of concentration, regardless of particle size or shape.” Development of the NFPA 652 standard for combustible dust began in 2012. The main objective is to have manufacturers evaluate the potential of fire from combustible dust in the form of a “Dust Hazard Analysis.” As an owner, you are responsible for a DHA of your facility.
The key requirements for this NFPA 652 are:
What does this really mean to us? You as a woodworker must evaluate your dust and determine which process is hazardous, provide a solution to eliminate or mitigate the hazard, and have a plan of action in case of an emergency. The goal is to eliminate the risk of injury or death from a combustible dust explosion. Key events needed to create this hazard are Fuel, Ignition, Oxygen, Confinement and Dispersion. As responsible woodworkers, our focus needs to be on the fuel. We need to keep the fuel (wood dust) off elevated horizontal surfaces and be diligent with housekeeping.
How to perform a DHA
Each manufacturing process needs to be evaluated-including work cells. Keep in mind that dust collection is also considered a process. Here is a checklist for woodworkers to evaluate their facilities.
Once you identify these problem areas, you need to develop internal processes to eliminate and monitor. This may include vacuuming versus blowing dust, increasing the cleaning of fugitive dust, evaluation of dust hoods, dust collection, or solutions for ceiling cleaning. For more information on this new requirement visit www.NFPA.org.