Safe Handling of Powders

Fires in dust layers, dust explosion, and decomposition of thermally unstable dusts are sudden and catastrophic events in industrial environments. If these hazards are not assessed properly, the risk of occurrence would not be eliminated or reduces and could lead to serious damage. Such consequences can be, for example, personal injuries, fatal accidents, serious property damage, negative social perception of the company, loss of shareholder confidence and devaluation of the company, loss of production capacity, or fines and payable compensations.

In Hungary, the National Directorate for Disaster Management of the Ministry of the Interior (BM Országos Katasztrófavédelmi Főigazgatóság) is responsible for building the appropriate fire and explosion protection regulatory system. The Fire Protection Technical Directive prepared by the Directorate provides summarized information on the methods of fire protection. In addition, the following standards may be considered without claiming completeness:

  • MSZ EN 1127-1:2012 standard (Explosive atmospheres. Explosion prevention and protection. Part 1: Basic concepts and methodology),

  • MSZ EN 13237:2013 standard (Potentially explosive atmospheres. Terms and definitions for equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres),

  • MSZ EN 60079-10-2:2015 standard (Explosive atmospheres. Part 10-2: Classification of areas. Explosive dust atmospheres (IEC 60079-10-2:2015)),

  • MSZ EN 14491:2013 standard (Dust explosion venting protective systems),

  • MSZ EN 14797:2007 standard (Explosion venting devices).

With appropriate engineering considerations, without claiming completeness the following international regulations can be applicable:

  • NFPA 68 “Guide for Venting of Deflagrations”,

  • NFPA 69 “Standard on Explosion Prevention Systems”,

  • NFPA 499 "Recommended Practice for the Classification of Combustible Dust and of Hazardous (Classified) Locations for Electrical Installations in Chemical Process Areas",

  • NFPA 654 “Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids”,

  • VDI 2263 „Dust Fires and Dust Explosions - Hazards - Assessment - Safety Measures”

  • VDI 3673 „Pressure Release of Dust Explosions”.

The hazards caused by dust and identified by standard tests are essential parts of safety design and review activities.

This guidance does not cover nor takes into account the effects of dust-related events, such as toxic or ecotoxic effects; does not contain process safety details and practical advice on device or assembly selection.

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