Focus on combustible dust | High risk and increased enforcement

In the first half of last year, Dust Safety Science reported that 33 dust explosions and 115 dust fires caused 13 workplace deaths and 66  injuries in many industries.

~ By Jennifer Weibe and Lorne Davies

Chart showing dust fires and explosions in 2019 - world wide.

Inspection Initiative

Recognizing a widespread lack of awareness of the hazards, and insufficient controls, WorkSafeBC increased inspections of production facilities in 2019 in 27 at-risk manufacturing sector classification units.

The results were notable

In 30 inspections between February and September, 40 percent were issued prevention orders for ventilation issues contributing to combustible dust risk. Half had no dust collection systems in place at all. Others had invested in systems that failed to meet regulatory requirements.

Get the help you need

Take steps to protect your workers and operation and get the advice you need before you invest in major upgrades or a new dust collection system.

Schedule a scoping to assess your risk level and get unbiased recommendations from a combustible dust specialist.

Understand the hazards and steps you can take to control the risk

Meet our combustible dust specialist

Lorne Davies is a CRSP with a diploma in Civil Engineering Technology from Okanagan College and has continued to expand his OHS knowledge through distance learning courses offered at BCIT and Dalhousie University.


Are you at risk?

27 industry classification units were identified for combustible dust risk —is yours one of them?

711002 Alcoholic Beverage Mfg
711003 Animal Feed or Supplement Mfg or Pkg
711004 Baked Goods Mfg
711006 Candy or Chocolate Mfg
711007 Cereal,Biscuit,Taco-Rice Prod,Pasta Mfg
711008 Coffee,Tea, Herb, or Spice Pkg or Mfg
711012 Food Product Mfg
711013 Fruit or Veg Processing or Product Mfg
711015 Liquid Dairy Product Mfg
711018 Non-Alcohol Bev Mfg or Water Bottling
712001 Aircraft, Automobile, or Truck Assembly
712008 Die Casting or Non-Ferrous Foundry Ops
712013 Ferrous Foundry Ops
712020 Machine Shop
712027 Structural Metal Product Fab
712028 Metal Product Mfg
712034 Sheet Metal Fab
712035 Smelter
713012 Fibreglass Insulation Mfg
713013 Foam Product Mfg
713023 Plastic Film Extrusion & Flex Pkg Mfg
713024 Plastic or Rubber Recycling
713025 Plastic Prod Mfg (thermoform, inj mould)
713028 Plastic Prod Mfg (by profile extrusion)
713029 Post-Extrusion Plastic Product Mfg
714001 Cardboard or Paper Container Mfg
715026 Box Spring or Mattress Mfg

* Dust Safety Science 2019 Mid-Year Combustible Dust Incident Report