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Explosion

p o o Prevention
o In
Grain Handling Facilities

Presented by:

Michael F. Richards, P.E.


Risk Management Property Engineer
Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance

Grain Operations Conference, Grain & Feed Association of Illinois


March 15, 2012

Disclaimer
The information contained in this presentation was obtained from
sources believed to be reliable. Nationwide Agribusiness/Farmland
Insurance and employees make no guarantee of results, and assume
no liability in connection with the safety and loss control suggestions
or information contained herein. Furthermore, it cannot be assumed
that every acceptable safety or loss control method is contained in this
publication, or that unusual circumstances may not require additional
methods.
h d The
h maintenance off safe
f premises, equipment and
d
operations is your legal responsibility.
N ti
Nationwide,
id th
the N
Nationwide
ti
id framework
f
k and
dO
On Your
Y
Side
Sid are federally
f d ll registered
i t d
service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.

Presentation Objectives
1)

Reminder and awareness of the hazard

2)

Elements required for a dust explosion

3)

Applicable
A li bl standards
t d d & regulations?
l ti
?

4)

Management techniques for explosion


prevention and/or control?

Awareness of the Hazard


Dangerous
Dangerous Dust
Dust

Awareness of the Hazard


Dangerous
Dangerous Dust
Dust

Awareness of the Hazard


Dangerous
Dangerous Dust
Dust

Awareness of the Hazard


Dangerous
Dangerous Dust
Dust

Awareness of the Hazard


Dangerous
Dangerous Dust
Dust

Awareness of the Hazard


Dangerous
Dangerous Dust
Dust

Statistics
Years

Explosions

Injuries

Deaths

1976 1989

281

480

155

1990 1999

130

119

15

2000 2010

89

77

2011

(Source: OSHA.gov, Grain Elevator Explosion Chart)

Statistics
Nationwide Agribusiness
Years
2004 - 2011

Explosions

Severity ($)

30+

$30 M

Many losses are smaller - but can still result in


injuries or death!

Most the result of elevator leg explosions

Example
p Dust Explosion
p
IncidentsIncidents- How bad can it get?
Alton, IA 2008
$8 M property
damage

Example
p Dust Explosion
p
IncidentsIncidents- How bad can it get?

Example
p Dust Explosion
p
IncidentsIncidents- How bad can it get?

Example
p Dust Explosion
p
IncidentsIncidents- How bad can it get?
Twin Brooks, SD
- 2010
$10 M property
damage

Example
p Dust Explosion
p
IncidentsIncidents- How bad can it get?

Elements of a Dust Explosion


What is the difference between a deflagration
and an explosion
explosion??

The process
process

Deflagration = the action of heating a substance until it burns


away rapidly
- Creates both heat and pressure due to combustion gases
(Common useful application igniting gun powder to propel a
bullet down the barrel of a gun w/ force of expanding gas)

Elements of a Dust Explosion


The result
result

Explosion = The bursting or rupture of an enclosure or a container


due to development of internal pressure from deflagration
deflagration..

Elements of a Dust Explosion


What happens as a result of a deflagration?
deflagration?

1. Flash Fire = Deflagration w/o enclosure or damaging pressure


OR
OR
p
= Deflagration
g
2. Explosion

+ confinement/enclosure
/

Both of these are bad and can severely hurt or kill a person.

Sequence of typical
typical explosion event

Primary and Secondary Explosions


It was extremely
t
l lloud.
d It
was kind of like to me a
double whomp a bomp
b
bomp.
bomp
. It reverberated
b t d and
d
echoed down through the
valley kind of like a shock
wave.
(Oct. 2011 - comments of person
in Atchison
Atchison, Kansas who lives
half--a-mile away from the grain
half
elevator)

Elements of a Dust Explosion


Consider the 4 elements required for deflagration
deflagration::
1
1.

Particle (Dust) (combustible particulate solid)

2.

Suspension in air

3.

Concentration is sufficient

4.

Ignition Source

Elements of a Dust Explosion


Conditions necessary for a deflagration are routinely
present at grain handling facilities:
- This occurs in devices such as:
Ductwork/tubing
Elevator legs
Bins, silos
Conveyors
Dust collectors (cyclones
(cyclones, bag
bag--filter units)
Dryers
- Can also occur during housekeeping (sweeping,
(sweeping blowblow-down)

Elements of a Dust Explosion

Fire + Dust Dispersion = Deflagration + Confinement = Explosion


p
Ignition

Flash Fire

Standards & Regulations


What standards and regulations apply to grain handling
facilities (specifically related to the control of grain dust
fires and explosions)?
We look to two (2) main sources:
- OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration)
- NFPA (National
(N ti
l Fire
Fi P
Protection
t ti A
Association)
i ti )

Standards & Regulations


Occupancy standards
- OSHA 29 CFR 1910.272 (Grain handling facilities)
(G i elevators,
(Grain
l
t
feed
f d mills,
ill flour
fl
mills,
ill rice
i mills,
ill dust
d t pelletizing
ll ti i
plants, dry corn mills, soybean flaking and grinding operations)

- NFPA 61 Standard for the Prevention of Fires and


Dust Explosions In Agricultural and Food Processing
Facilities (agricultural dust)
(All facilities that receive, handle, process, dry, blend, use, mill,
package store,
package,
store or ship dry agricultural bulk materials,
materials their bybyproducts, or dusts that include grains, oilseeds, agricultural seeds,
legumes, sugar, flour, spices, feeds, and other related materials)

Standards & Regulations


Design Standards
- NFPA 68 Guide for Venting of Deflagrations
- NFPA 69 Standard on Explosion Prevention Systems
- NFPA 70 National Electrical Code [NEC]
Other:
- FM data sheet 77-76 Prevention & Mitigation of Combustible Dust
p
& Fire
Explosion

Management of the Dust


D st Explosion
E plosion Hazard
Ha a d
Two main strategies:
1) Prevention =

prevent a deflagration from occurring

2) Control / =
Protection

control deflagrations to limit injury to


persons or damage to property

* The prescriptive criteria in NFPA standards address one of


these two strategies
g

Management of the Dust Explosion Hazard


Prevention & Control
These are a given
Grain Dust

Air

Management of the Dust Explosion Hazard


Prevention & Control
But we can influence these
Limit or control heat, friction,
sparks,
k fl
flame

Address w// design


g &
control measures
Manage what happens to grain dust

Management of the Dust Explosion Hazard


Prevention Manage the grain dust
The key is to limit dispersion & accumulations
Housekeeping
Dust
D t collection
ll ti systems
t
Dust suppressing oil application
Fugitive dust control

Management of the Dust Explosion Hazard


Prevention Housekeeping

Management of the Dust Explosion Hazard


Prevention Housekeeping
What
Wh t does
d
OSHA require?
i ?
Written housekeeping program (frequency & methods)
Main purpose - Reduce accumulations on all exposed surfaces
Frequency will vary for different parts of facility
Keep
eep a log
og ssheet
ee
Method - manual or vacuum method preferred (ensure
vacuums rated for Class II hazardous locations)
Compressed air blowblow-down only when all machinery in area is shut down,
other potential ignition sources removed/controlled *(consider a permit)

Management of the Dust Explosion Hazard


Prevention Housekeeping
What does OSHA say about dust accumulations?
immediately remove fugitive grain dust accumulations whenever
they exceed 1/8 inch at priority housekeeping areas
Priority housekeeping areas =
- Floor areas within 35 feet of inside bucket elevators
- Floors of areas containing grinding equipment
- Floors of areas containing grain dryers located inside facility

But consider all areas inside the facility to be priority!

Management of the Dust Explosion Hazard


Prevention Housekeeping
Is 1/81/8-inch thick criteria enough? How much dust is too
much?
- At 1/8
/8 thick,
c , the
e dus
dust level
e e iss typically
yp ca y abo
above
e the
e minimum
u
explosive concentration (MEC)
but is within the optimum explosive concentration (OEC).
- Dont settle for 1/8 you should do better keep it less!

Dust layer thickness criteria


What does 1/8 equate to?
Answer:

2 nickels stacked

1/32?
1/64?

Paper clips thickness


Single sheet of paper

Management of the Dust Explosion Hazard


Prevention Dust collection systems
-

Purpose
Purpose:: reduce concentration of grain dust in grain
handling equipment to below the minimum explosive
concentration (MEC
(MEC))

Install at grain collection and transfer points

Receiving pit conveyors


Bucket elevator legs
Cl
Cleaners/separators
/
t
Milling machines
Belt conveyors at transfer points

Should help reduce fugitive dust emissions / improve


housekeeping

Management of the Dust Explosion Hazard


Prevention Dust collection systems

Management of the Dust Explosion Hazard


Prevention Dust suppressing oil application
- Purpose:
Purpose: reduce concentration of grain dust in grain
handling equipment to below the minimum explosive
concentration
t ti (MEC
(MEC))
-

Utilizes foodfood-g
grade mineral oil, or vegetable
g
oil

Sprayed by nozzle(s) at grain receiving conveyor

Application rate of approximately 1 gallon oil per


1,000 bushels

Management of the Dust Explosion Hazard


Prevention Dust suppressing oil application

Management of the Dust Explosion Hazard


Prevention Fugitive dust control
- Purpose:
Purpose: minimize suspension and accumulation of
grain dust on surfaces, floors, equipment reduce
f
frequency
off h
housekeeping
k
i
-

Maintain equipment to minimize escape of dust

Enclose grain conveyors ensure sealed tight

Seal other problem equipment (elevator legs,


distributors, etc.)

Ensure inspection doors are closed and sealed tight

Prevention Fugitive dust control

Management of the Dust Explosion Hazard

Prevention

Manage ignition sources


Limit or control heat, friction,
sparks,
k fl
flame

Management of the Dust Explosion Hazard


Prevention Manage ignition sources
Possible igniters
-

Friction from belt rubbing


Friction / overheating of bearings, shafts, other
Hot surfaces (equipment
(equipment, lighting)
Impact sparks (milling, grinding, cutting) - friction
Tramp metal (sparking)
Electrical sparks / energy
Hot work (welding, cutting, soldering)
Lightning strikes

Management of the Dust Explosion Hazard


Prevention Manage ignition sources
Safety monitoring / alarms
Electrical equipment & wiring rated for Class II hazardous
locations
Hot work permit program limit the activity
Magnets/separators for removal of foreign material/tramp metal
Equipment inspection and maintenance
No smoking

Management of the Dust Explosion Hazard


Prevention - Safety monitoring & alarms
-

OSHA 29 CFR 1910.272


-

Inside bucket elevator legs (w/exceptions & storage capacity provisions)

No requirement for outside legs

NFPA 61 Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Dust


Explosions in Agricultural and Food Processing Facilities
-

Requirements Similar to OSHA (no aggregate storage capacity


criteria)

Requires motion/speed monitoring for outside bucket elevator legs

Management of the Dust Explosion Hazard


Prevention - Safety monitoring & alarms

Employees should be trained in the operation,


p
alarms, and protocols

- Devices should be inspected and tested periodically


- Safety monitors should not be overridden or disabled

if its broken, fix it have protocols in place.

Management of the Dust Explosion Hazard


Prevention Classified Electrical
- All electrical rated for Class II, Group G, Division 1 or 2 hazardous
location
Lighting
Electrical panels/enclosures
Wiring methods

Motors
Receptacles & plugs
Utilization equipment

- Two (2) key issues:


Maintain surface temperature below dust ignition point
Equipment is dust
dust--ignition proof (Div. 1) or dust
dust--tight (Div. 2)

Management of the Dust Explosion Hazard


Prevention Hot Work
-

Hot work permit required by OSHA and NFPA 61

Welding
Grinding
Soldering / brazing
Flames of any sort (propane torches, etc.)

Visiting contractors should comply with YOUR hot work permit


and
d reporting
ti requirements
i
t
Its your facility be in control of this hazard (who, what,
why,
why where
where, and when)!

Management of the Dust Explosion Hazard


Prevention Equipment Inspection & Maintenance
Required by OSHA for mechanical & safety equipment
- dryers
- grain processing
- dust collectors
- bucket elevators
- safety controls

Promptly correct,
correct or remove from service any:
- Overheated bearings
- Slipping/misaligned belts of inside bucket elevator legs

Certification records must be maintained

- Schedule of PM must be developed and adhered to


- Consider
d asset/activity
/
management and
d tracking
k
methods
h d

Management of the Dust Explosion Hazard


Explosion Control

Address w/ design &


control measures

Management of the Dust Explosion Hazard


Explosion Control
- Some common techniques include:
Venting
Suppression
IIsolation
l ti
- Requirements provided in NFPA standards (61, 68, & 69)

Management of the Dust Explosion Hazard


Explosion Control Deflagration Venting

The technique of providing a pressure


pressure--relieving cover
over an opening in an enclosure [applicable to
equipment or even a building/room]

In accordance with NFPA 68 Guide for Venting of

Deflagrations

Fireball / Vent flame from deflagration

Fireball / Vent flame from deflagration

Management
g
of the Dust Explosion
p
Hazard
Specific Equipment
Bucket elevator legs:
- ALL legs must have deflagration vents
vents, or deflagration suppression
or other suitable protection NFPA 61 (all bulk raw grains)
Inside legs vents ducted to outside (no farther than 10 feet)
Outside legs
Venting required along the casings not just head section
NFPA exception for legs with capacities < 3
3,000
000 BPH

Bucket elevator legs


deflagration venting:

Management
g
of the Dust Explosion
p
Hazard
Specific Equipment
B k t elevator
Bucket
l
t llegs deflagration
d fl
ti venting
ti as a flame
fl
flame-arresting
ti
particulate retention device:
device:

Management
g
of the Dust Explosion
p
Hazard
Specific Equipment
Dust collectors / Cyclones
- Shall [must] be located outside of buildings unless:
unless:
a) Deflagration vent to outdoors or deflagration suppression
(NFPA 61, OSHA 29 CFR 1910.272 filter collectors)
b)) Other exceptions
p
(cyclones
( y
serving
g pellet
p
coolers,, etc.))
- Regardless
g
whether located inside or outside,, must still be p
provided
with deflagration protection (NFPA 61 )

Management
g
of the Dust Explosion
p
Hazard
Deflagration Vent

Management
g
of the Dust Explosion
p
Hazard
Deflagration Vent

Example - indoor dust collector


deflagration vent ducted to
exterior
t i th
thru outside
t id wallll

Management of the Dust Explosion Hazard


Explosion Control Deflagration Suppression
-

The technique of detecting and arresting combustion


in a confined space
p
while the combustion is still in its
incipient stage

Used when venting is not practical or is inadequate

In accordance with NFPA 69 Standard On Explosion

Suppression Systems

Management
g
of the Dust Explosion
p
Hazard
Deflagration Suppression

Management of the Dust Explosion Hazard


Explosion Control Deflagration Isolation
-

Technique involving - interruption or mitigation of


flame, p
pressures, and ignition
g
between enclosures
that are interconnected by pipes or ducts

Active or passive methods

In accordance with NFPA 69 Standard On Explosion

Suppression Systems

Management of the Dust Explosion Hazard


Explosion Control Deflagration Isolation
Some isolation methods:
-

Backdraft damper

Fl
FlameFlame
-front
f t di
diverter
t

Chemical suppression

Fast--acting mechanical valves


Fast

Abort gates

Managing a Deflagration Hazard


D fl
Deflagration
ti
IIsolation
l ti
T
Techniques
h i
Flame--front/explosion diverters (protecting interconnected equipment)
Flame

* Schematic from NFPA 654 (2006)

Managing a Deflagration Hazard


D fl
Deflagration
ti
IIsolation
l ti
T
Techniques
h i
Flame-front/explosion diverter
Flame(protecting interconnected
equipment)

Managing a Deflagration Hazard


D fl
Deflagration
ti
IIsolation
l ti
T
Techniques
h i
Back draft damper (installed upstream of dust collectors
incoming air flow)

Managing
g g a Deflagration
g
Hazard
Deflagration Isolation

Managing a Deflagration Hazard


D fl
Deflagration
ti
IIsolation
l ti
T
Techniques
h i
Fast--acting mechanical valve (knife/gate)
Fast

Managing a Deflagration Hazard


D fl
Deflagration
ti
IIsolation
l ti
T
Techniques
h i
Abort--gate in discharge (return side/clean air side) of dust collector
Abort

Management of the Dust Explosion Hazard

Employee training
- Required by OSHA and NFPA 61
- Be sure new and seasonal employees are
trained on the hazard

What will increase your chances for a dust


explosion?
l i ?
1)

Dont require new safety monitoring devices to be


commissioned to demonstrate they are working properly

2)

Dont inspect or test safety monitoring devices

3)

Over-ride safety monitoring devices


Over-

4)

Continue to operate legs or conveyors with bearings you know


are b
bad
d

5))

Dont clean dust accumulations in the elevator or at outside


boot pits

End