Busting the Myths of Combustible Dust
Jason Reason of Lewellyn Technology dispelled some of the biggest myths in combustible dust safety.
ATLANTA--With over 50 combustible dust standards to follow, it's no surprise that many employees struggle to maintain a compliant and safe workspace while dust builds up. Jason Reason of Lewellyn Technology walked an eager audience through some of the biggest myths in combustible dust safety and why they're wrong.
Perhaps the biggest myth is that you don't have to test the dust you have; if you're working with wood it seems pretty straightforward. However, that's simply not the case. Dust collection can vary in size and scope, and it is important to always test dust for particles so you know how to properly clean it up. Reason developed a hierarchy of dust testing, with "Kst" testing coming in as the most important test you should do while working with dust.
When it comes to cleaning dust, Reason says you simply cannot clean your way out of a combustible dust hazard. Equipment hazards regularly present a problem because you cannot clean them
To further complicate things, there are four different standards for dust accumulation thresholds, only one of which OSHA uses.
One of the biggest takeaways from Reason's presentation was the importance of proper vacuum and ventilation equipment and techniques. Portable vacuums are almost never acceptable, and dust collectors need to have the proper ventilation that is situated in a way that keeps workers out of harm's way.