Combustible Dust: Do You Have the Proper Protection?
Combustible dust, while not a new problem, is rather new to the scene of requiring flame resistant workwear. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that “any combustible material can burn rapidly when in a finely divided form. If such a dust is suspended in air in the right concentration, under certain conditions, it can become explosible. Even materials that do not burn in larger pieces (such as aluminum or iron), given the proper conditions, can be explosible in dust form.” Combustible dust exists in a wide variety of industries. You can find it in food processing plants, combustible dust being created from sugar, grain, and more, and you can also find it in industries like plastic, wood, rubber, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals. Many jobs are performed around combustible dust, so the question is, do you have the proper protection?
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) recommended OSHA to develop and propose a standard for workers in environments with combustible dust after a series of preventable accidents involving combustible dust. According to OSHA’s website, the CSB has identified over 250 accidents from combustible dust over the years from 1980-2005. These accidents have led to the deaths of over 100 workers, injuring over 700 workers, and damaging a number of workplaces. Unfortunately, many of these deaths and injuries could most likely have been prevented with the proper workwear for protection. If you work around combustible dust, or you are the safety manager looking to outfit your workers with the right protective workwear, you can find options on our website. Look for Bulwark flame resistant workwear that is compliant with NFPA 2112 to ensure meeting the OSHA requirements for working around combustible dust and providing workers with the best safety. Currently, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) uses the standard 2112 to specify the minimum requirements and test methods for garments at use in areas at risk from flash fires. This standard applies to areas with combustible dust, which are areas at risk for flash fires, as well.
Bulwark flame resistant uniforms that are compliant with NFPA 2112 include a wide variety of coveralls, as well as jeans, uniform shirts, and lab coats. These articles of clothing are available in different fabrics. You can find cotton shirts, jeans, and coveralls for breathability and comfort, but you can also find Cool Touch 2 coveralls and shirts for durability and fabric that wicks away moisture. Other fabrics include Comfortouch and Nomex IIIA. A garment is considered NFPA 2112 if it meets the standards for testing methods and how well the garment holds up to the tests. By searching our website for NFPA 2112 you can find what options are available. With the variety of coveralls, jeans, shirts, and lab coats, you are sure to find exactly what you need. The flame resistant fabrics used to make these garments are both inherently flame resistant, like Nomex IIIA, and treated, like cotton. These garments are compliant with NFPA 2112, making them good choices for ensuring your workers’ safety, and meeting OSHA’s requirements.