9 Safety Lessons You Should Learn from Hoeganaes Combustible Dust Explosion

Recently, the US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released a report and animated video about three fires and explosions that happened at Hoeganaes Corp. plant in Gallatin, Tennessee, in 2011. Hoeganaes Corp. is a manufacturer of atomized steel and iron powders.

These accidents caused five people died and three people injured. Fine iron powder was involved in these accidents. These accidents were combustible dust explosion.

According to the report, these combustible dust explosions were actually preventable if Hoeganaes Corp. takes necessary actions in regard with fine iron powder controlling and monitoring in its plant site.

So, what safety lessons could we learn from these three accidents that involvedĀ combustible dust? Just keep reading to learn such valuable safety lessons.

9 Lessons Taken from Combustible Dust Explosions

At least there are 9 safety lessons we can learn from Hoeganaes combustible gas explosion.

  1. The company has not addressed adequate combustible dust control and good housekeeping.
  2. There was no engineering control against combustible dust hazards. Fine iron powder was accumulated in the facility before these accidents happened.
  3. Procedure for monitoring combustible gas was not available.
  4. The company did not carry out atmospheric testing for hydrogen or other explosive gases.
  5. The facility was not built to deal with metal dust and has a number of places that are hard to reach and clean up.
  6. The company did not provide training for preventing flammable gas fire and explosion for its employees.
  7. The company has not had schedule for periodic audit on its facility to check its compliance against NFPA standards.
  8. The company has not established and implemented a near-miss reporting and investigation policy.
  9. Powder handling equipment that the company used was not sufficiently sealed.

Take Actions to Prevent Combustible Dust Explosion

Now, you have enough information on what was happened when inadequate measures taken in preventing combustible dust explosion. I strongly recommend you to start assessing such hazards in the plant site where you are working for.

Take actions now to improve your current facilities and procedures in order to avoid combustible dust explosion. And the very first step to do is to identify whether there is combustible dust or not in the plant site. The easiest way to check is through MSDS.

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