Recently, there has been an increased awareness of the explosion hazard associated with combustible dusts. NFPA 654/A.188.8.131.52 includes criteria that have been used for determining whether an explosion hazard exists in a building compartment. There is, however, genuine concern over the technical pedigree of those criteria. Federal governmental agencies have recently begun using NFPA 654 as a standard for assessing compliance with the General Duty Clause of the OSH Act of 1970. This has precipitated a genuine concern that the criteria currently in NFPA 654 do not have sufficient technical justification to be used as a law enforcement criterion.
The objective of this project is to establish the technical basis for quantitative criteria for determining that a compartment is a “dust explosion hazard” that can be incorporated into NFPA 654 and other relevant safety codes and standards. Read the report, which presents the results of the Phase I portion of the study which is the development of a strawman method to assess the dust hazard.
The Fire Protection Research Foundation is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to plan, manage and communicate research in support of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) mission. Read more on the Research Foundation blog.