New Dust Hazard Analysis Guidelines
If you’re an industrial plant manager or operator, listen up! The NFPA has new regulations in place for dust hazard analysis you need to be aware of called “the 652 Standard.”
What are the newest guidelines for dust hazard analysis?
The 652 Standard covers regulations regarding the fundamentals of combustible dust to ensure facilities are following recommended procedures and protocols for dust hazard analysis.
What’s the difference between new DHA guidelines and old DHA guidelines?
Though the NFPA had previous standards set in place under the process of PHA (Process Hazard Analysis), new guidelines zone in on combustible dust in order to prevent tragedies from continuously happening in the workplace. Not only do facilities have to perform a DHA on existing equipment, but they must also perform a dust hazard analysis on new and improved equipment as well.
READ MORE: Guide to Combustible Dust: Why It’s Dangerous and How to Prevent It
What is a Dust Hazard Analysis?
In order to better understand the new guidelines for a dust hazard analysis, we first have to know what a DHA is used for and why it’s so important. A dust hazard analysis is simply an organized evaluation of the environment and equipment in a given workspace where hazardous particles could be present. This might include environments where workers can be found:
- Flour milling
- Grain handling
What is the benefit of a dust hazard analysis?
It is vital for owners to comply with NFPA standards and regulations, and DHAs are an important way to protect the safety of employees. With the help of a DHA analysis, companies are able to keep their work environment and employees safe by preventing a fire or explosion of combustible dust.
READ MORE: 5 Warning Signs a Dust Explosion Could Occur in Your Facility
A DHA will identify and address any hazards found inside a particular workspace. Once hazards have been identified, owners will be asked to provide a solution and/or hazard management system to show their business is running safely and efficiently for both employees and surrounding areas.
Goals of a DHA
The main goal of a dust hazard analysis is to keep individuals and equipment safe from a tragedy occurring. However, the process has three goals that owners and operators can stick to. These include:
- Pinpoint hazards in the facility
- Assess protection and security already in place
- Suggest further security and safeguards
Why is a DHA important?
For large and small businesses, completing a DHA is extremely important for many reasons. In order to keep companies running safely, the NFPA has set standards and guidelines for owners to follow. Every environment could produce hazards that may put workers in danger.
One major reason to comply with the NFPA guidelines and regulations is for the safety of workers. In recent years, hundreds of workers have been killed or injured on the job due to dust explosions or fires produced in the workplace. It’s critical for businesses to realize the severity and seriousness of abiding by NFPA guidelines in order to keep employees safe.
Another reason to diligently abide by NFPA regulations is to help save your business money. Because hazardous particles can lead to fires and/or explosions, preventing these tragedies can save companies thousands of dollars in equipment and facility replacement. In addition to the loss of human lives, dust explosions can also lead to significant profit losses. To keep your business running smoothly and your employees and their families protected and provided for, it’s essential to monitor your facilities and perform routine DHAs.
Some companies may fail to follow NFPA guidelines because they can’t see the dangers of dust or don’t think their workplace has hazardous materials or particles. This can be a dangerous and deadly mistake. Hazards in the workplace can exist in plain sight or hide behind enclosures. It’s important to have a DHA process in place so that these hidden hazards can be brought to light. A few hidden areas that some housekeepers or workers may neglect to check that should be kept clean are:
- Overhead surfaces
- Ductwork lining
- Behind heavy equipment
When to perform a DHA for your workplace
Though a DHA now has a deadline for completion set by the NFPA, it’s vital for facility operators to be aware of the importance of maintaining a safe workplace for themselves and employees. The process of a dust hazard analysis should be an ongoing process, as should maintaining a workspace that is ready for an inspection at any given time.
The NFPA 652 Standard has set a deadline of September 7, 2020, extended from 2018, for owners and operators to complete their dust hazard analysis. However, it’s important for owners to continuously work towards completing the DHA throughout the year in order to maintain a safe work environment.
Who performs a DHA for your workplace?
DHA’s should not be performed by just anyone but instead by individuals who have significant experience performing inspections. Though NFPA regulations state only qualified individuals should perform the review. It’s also common for a team to perform a routine DHA in order to have more than one set of eyes on equipment and possible hazards. When choosing a team to perform your company’s DHA, be sure and choose individuals who are reliable, aware, and experienced in your industry’s equipment, equipment, and NFPA’s standards.
DHA Solutions at Bedson Reps
Here at Bedson Reps, we work to provide facility owners and operators with top-notch products and solutions to their workplace that may have seen or hidden hazards. We believe every workplace should invest in safeguards for the sake of worker safety, saving money, and ethical behavior.
We are passionate about serving our customers and helping them find personalized solutions for their specific workplace needs. If you are interested or in need of safeguards for dust combustion in your workplace, now is the time to invest. Contact us today to set up an appointment and find the perfect solution for you.