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US combustible dust standard now in place

31 May 2016

According to OHS Online, the US National Fire Protection Association’s new combustible dust standard, NFPA 652, Standard on the Fundamentals of Combustible Dust, is now in effect. It is the latest in a series of NFPA standards that apply to combustible dusts after 61, 484, 654, 655, and 664, and includes the important new requirement of dust hazard analysis.

This was announced at the American Industrial Hygiene Conference & Exposition (AIHce) 2016 event in Baltimore, OHS Online reported.  Susan Berhad, the NFPA staff liaison for the combustible dust project, made the announcement during a May 25 presentation on the standard at the event.

The 652 standard sets out three fundamental principles: controlling the fuel, controlling the ignition sources, and limiting the spread of any combustion event.

Redesigning facilities is not retroactive under the standard, Berhad said. But management of change, employee training, and housekeeping requirements all do apply retroactively. There are two compliance options, a prescriptive one and a performance-based one. A dust hazard analysis (DHA) is mandatory for existing processes and facilities within three years, she said.


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