Combustible dust is a fine material that, when mixed with air and in the right concentration, has the ability to catch fire and explode. Many materials are combustible including grains, flour, sugar cornstarch, wood and metals. Even materials that do not burn in larger pieces (such as aluminum or iron), given the proper conditions, can ignite.
Accurately identifying, assessing, and controlling combustible dust is an essential part of an occupational health and safety (OHS) program. If your environment includes risks for combustible dust, ensure that you have a plan in place to control those risks including:
- Documentation of the risk identification and assessment
- Elimination or substitution of the hazard
- Engineering controls and processes to reduce the exposure risk
- Training and supervision of all workers at-risk for dust exposure.