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Dust Safety Science releases 2020 Combustible Dust Incident Report

07 May 2021

Dust Safety Science has released its annual Combustible Dust Incident Report which captures and details combustible dust incidents from around the globe. The report shows that in total, 165 fires and 60 explosions caused 88 injuries and 10 fatalities during 2020.

The statistics from the report show a decrease in incidents and injuries relating to combustible dust incidents compared with 2019, however a slight rise in fatalities. In2019, 250 fires and 75 explosions resulted in 118 injuries and 8 fatalities. Before that, in 2018, 213 fires and 68 explosions caused 114 injuries and 23 fatalities.

The report lists some of the most severe incidents that occurred in 2020, including the December 3 explosion at Wessex Water’s treatment plant near Bristol which killed four people and injured one.

In terms of the materials involved in combustible dust incidents, food and wood products made up over 75% of incidents and resulted in 57% of the injuries and 40% of the fatalities. Similarly, wood processing, wood products, agricultural activity and food production also make up a large portion of the overall fire and explosion incidents, a historical trend when it comes to combustible dust incidents.

The report shows that storage silos had the highest percentage of combustible dust incidents in 2020 with 30 fires and 13 explosions reported. This differs from 2017 and 2018 which found collections systems to have the highest number of incidents.

Read the 2020 Combustible Dust Incident Report in full by clicking here.


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