New Wood Dust Requirements Take Effect In September

The National Fire Protection Standard, NFPA 652, contains new requirements that take effect next month. The rule affects wood-processing firms and is designed to reduce the risk of injury or death from a combustible dust explosion.

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 facilities.  The deadline for this is Sept. 7, 2020.  This is not a difficult evaluation but, does require your attention.

The key requirements for this NFPA 652 are:

  • 4.1 requires that the “Owners and operators of a facility…shall be responsible.”
  • 5.1 requires hazard identification of materials.
  • 7.1.1 requires a DHA for all existing and new processes.
  • 7.1.2 have a DHA on file by Sept. 7, 2020.
  • 7.1.4 states the DHA must be updated every 5 years.
  • 7.2.2 states that “the DHA must be performed or led by a qualified person.”

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