Dust explosions - are you at risk?

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By Peter Dowell, Managing Director

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Workplace explosions can cause loss of life and serious injury, as well as significant damage to factory equipment and buildings.

Dust from industrial production processes can create a highly damaging explosive atmosphere in the workplace. Our extraction systems are designed to control the potential risk through vacuum cleaning and dust filters.

Fine particles of sugar, flour, wood or paper may be combustable when in the form of a dust cloud. All that is needed to cause an explosion is a source of ignition.

You may be surprised to learn that the amount of dust required to constitute a risk of explosion is relatively small. Just 150 grams of combustable dust material - about a teacup full - per five cubic metres, is enough to create a potential risk of explosion in the workplace.

In the UK manufacturing industry, ATEX is the name commonly given to two European Directives for controlling explosive atmospheres. Good housekeeping is an essential part of ATEX in any dust creating production process, such as those found in food processing, tissue and packaging industries. The overriding principal of ATEX is that a clean environment is a safe one.

In many manufacturing environments, the best dust control method is a centralised vacuum cleaning system. This removes the dust without disturbance and collects it in a central safe controlled area.

DELTA NEU specialises in risk assessment in line with ATEX requirements. We have 40 years’ experience in designing and supplying bespoke systems to ensure an effective, quick and safe approach to control and minimise dust accumulation.

In summary, even a relatively small amount of dust can pose a large and potentially dangerous risk. Speak to our team of experts to arrange your survey appointment.


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