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Protecting Against Combustible Dust

What is Combustible Dust?

A combustible-dust hazard occurs when potentially flammable dust particles are suspended in the air in an enclosed location. An explosion can occur when an ignition source, e.g., a spark from electrical equipment or metal-to-metal contact, an open flame, or even static electricity, comes into contact with the dust.

OSHA reports show combustible dust can be produced from a variety of materials, including:

Wood dust
Metal dust (e.g., aluminum, magnesium, zinc, and bronze)
Organic dust (e.g., sugar, flour, paper, soap, and soybean)
Coal and other carbon dust
Plastic and rubber dust
Certain textile materials

Workers in a variety of industries are exposed to combustible-dust hazards. These industries include:

Food products
Forest and furniture products
Metal processing
Tire and rubber manufacturing
Paper products
Textile processing
Coal handling and processing

It’s important to protect workers from potential combustible-dust injury by ensuring they wear proper PPE, including flame resistant clothing. G&K will work with you to develop safety solutions, based upon a worksite assessment, to meet your safety goals.

See OSHA’s reissued  and NFPA 654 for more information on combustible dust hazards and regulations.