Combustible dust is dangerous. The risks of combustible dust fires are so grave that companies and contractors must take steps to prevent combustible dust fires. Each year preventable combustible dust fires occur that cause horrific burn injuries and sometimes even death to innocent bystanders, contractors, employees, and other workers.
Combustible dust is any substance that can create dust. Examples of potential combustible dust agents are grain, powder, sugar, wood products, and many other products. When combustible dust is introduced to an ignition source, often times it results in an explosion. An ignition source can be anything that creates a spark or flame. Examples of ignition sources are cutting torches, welding machines, electrical machines, battery operated products, and other machines or activities that create a flame or spark.
Companies and contractors can take simple steps to prevent combustible fire explosions and fires. One of the most common steps is called Lock-Out Tag-Out. Lock-Out Tag Out is a process of shutting down the system all around where potential combustible dust may be exposed to an ignition source and physically placing a lock on the dust producing machinery so there is no chance of dust being generated. This Lock-Out Tag-Out process is the best way to prevent combustible dust explosions. So why do some companies and contractors not take this simple step? Unfortunately, shutting down production means less profits and some companies place profits over the safety of people and don’t shut down by Lock-Out Tag-Out. This is reckless and very dangerous to anyone in the area of the dust and ignition source. Another reason why Lock-Out Tag-Out does not occur is lack of training to employees and contractors who are in control of the dust and the ignition source.
There are many other ways to prevent combustible dust fires and our firm has become an expert in investigating and handling these types of cases. If you would like to learn more about how to prevent combustible dust fires, please contact us at (479) 202-5200.
Learn ways to avoid a combustible dust fire in this blog from May 3, 2016: http://www.baileyoliverlawfirm.com/news/2016/may/03/safety-steps-avoid-dust-explosion-your-workplace/