Combustible dust poses a significant explosion risk when airborne, as outlined by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). However, defining combustible dust isn’t straightforward, as even within the same standards-developing organization, definitions can differ greatly, as stated in the OSHA Combustible Dust Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

To ensure workplace safety, it’s crucial to determine if you have a combustible dust hazard. Wood dust, for instance, can be potentially combustible and pose an explosive hazard under specific conditions. On the other hand, mineral dust does not present an explosive hazard as it lacks the ability to combust. Moreover, factors like particle size and moisture content play a vital role in determining the hazard level. If there’s any uncertainty, it’s essential to have your dust tested by a certified facility. Several testing options are available, including the comprehensive OSHA Combustible Dust NEP Test designed to meet the requirements of the OSHA National Emphasis Program for Combustible Dust.

Prioritize safety by understanding the potential risks associated with combustible dust and taking appropriate measures to mitigate those risks. Ensure your workplace remains compliant with OSHA regulations and safeguard your employees and property from the hazards of combustible dust.

Combustible Dust Imperial Sugar

Source: U.S. Chemical Safety Board

Combustible Dust News, Articles, Information, List of Prior Presentations

  • 2023 Revised Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program: This instruction contains policies and procedures for inspecting workplaces that generate or handle combustible dusts, and for determining whether such workplaces have addressed fire, flash fire, deflagration, and explosion hazards associated with combustible dusts. 321912 – Cut Stock, Resawing Lumber, and Planning.  321214 – Truss Manufacturing
  • 2022 IWF Atlanta Seminar, Breathe Easier and Learn More About Dust Collection and Combustible Dust
  • 2017 Industry Reacts to Halt of OSHA Combustible Dust Rulemaking Article
  • 2017 AWFS, Las Vegas, NV – Dust Collection And Combustible Dust for Secondary Wood Operations Seminar. This session combines basic dust collection fundamentals with information on combustible dust for medium to large woodworking plants.
  • 2016 – IWF Atlanta, GA, Educational Conference – Combustible Dust…an Explosive Issue Speaker: Jamison Scott, Air Handling Systems. Combustible dusts are fine particles that present an explosion hazard when suspended in air under certain conditions. But is it not that simple, what actually is Combustible Dust?
  • 2016 WDMA (Window & Door Manufacturers Association) Technical & Manufacturing Conference, Chicago, Illinois at the InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile.  Combustible Dust…An Explosive Issue, Speaker Jamison Scott, Executive Vice President, Air Handling Systems
  • 2016 Co-Op Woodworking Machinery Dealer Training, The James L Taylor Companies, Poughkeepsie, NY. Comdust seminar for woodworking machinery dealers.
  • 2016 NWFA (National Wood Flooring Association), NWFA Expo, Charlotte, NC.
  • 2015 Co-Op Woodworking Machinery Dealer Training, Safety Speed Mfg, Ham Lake, MN.  Comdust seminar for woodworking machinery dealers.
  • 2015 Pallet Enterprises – Explosion Hazard Prevention: Basics of Combustible Dust Concerns and Technical Resources.
  • 2015 Powder Bulks Solids – Combustible Dust: It’s Explosive. The top four reasons people are concerned about combustible dust include: 1. health and safety of employees; 2. fear of a potential OSHA inspection; 3. already had an OSHA inspection; and 4. the possibility of an explosion.
  • 2014 IWF Atlanta, GA, Educational Conference – Combustible Dust…an Explosive Issue Speaker: Jamison Scott, Vice President: Air Handling Systems.
  • 2014 Air Pollution Control – An Explosive Topic.  This article profiles the applicable standard-setting organizations and gives tips on dealing with dust. Where comdust is concerned, understanding the seriousness of the issue and using common sense are paramount in mitigating risk and ensuring a safe and productive work environment. Staying current on both OSHA and NFPA standards also helps. Author Jamison Scott.
  • 2014 Cabinet Makers Association, Pro Ed Series Webinar – Comdust: An Explosive Issue. Become educated on prevention of dust explosions as well as mitigating impact of government inspections related to comdust. Presented by Jamison Scott, EVP of Air Handling Systems.
  • 2013 ASSE Region 8 New England Area Conference, Providence, Rhode Island – Comdust: An Explosive Issue. Become educated on prevention of dust explosiond as well as mitigating impact of government inspections related to comdust. Presented by Jamison Scott, EVP of Air Handling Systems.
  • 2013 WMS Combustible Dust Seminar, Toronto, Canada – Combustible Dust: An Explosive Issue.  Understand who is in charge. Become educated on prevention and inspections. Presented by Jamison Scott, Chairman, WMMA Comdust Task Force and EVP of Air Handling Systems.
  • 2013 Wood Products, ComDust Prevention: Woodshops Take Note. Comdust has become a top health and safety issue in the woodworking industry. Companies with as few as nine employees are being targeted for ComDust-related issues by OSHA. Read more in this Wood Products article by Jamison Scott, EVP, Air Handling Systems.
  • 2013 AWFS Combating Combustible Dust Seminar – This seminar will go into detail explaining exactly what comdust is and talk about who is in charge of comdust issues at the shop level and within government and discuss the applicable voluntary consensus standards. Can it really happen in a woodworking facility? Gain invaluable knowledge on how to prevent an explosion and tips to mitigate an impact of an OSHA inspection. This is a valuable seminar for plant managers, maintenance staff, operation directors and woodworking facility owners of ALL sizes. By Jamison Scott VP, Air Handling Systems.
  • 2013 Center for Woodworking Innovation/CabinetMakerFDM — Combustible Dust and Regulation Safety Webinar – By Jamison Scott VP, Air Handling Systems.
  • 2013 Wood Industry — Dust…Spark…Inferno – Combustible dust is a deadly wood-industry hazard. Positive steps can help prevent explosions from two sources: regulations and fire.
  • 2012 Woodworking Network — ComDust: What Woodworkers Need to Know – Combustible dust is a serious issue. It has become a top health and safety issue in the woodworking industry, By Jamison Scott VP, Air Handling Systems.
  • 2012 FDM Asia — Combustible Dust — An Explosive Issue – Prone to explosions, combustible dusts are a safety hazard. However, this can be prevented by taking the necessary preventive measures, By Jamison Scott executive VP, Air Handling Systems.
  • 2012 Combustible Wood Dust Presentation, IWF – Combustible Wood Dust seminar presented by Jamison Scott, at the Technology Theater at the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta, GA.
  • 2012 Absence of ComDust Rule Doesn’t Stop OSHA Enforcement, Woodworking Network – While OSHA currently does not yet have a formal combustible dust standard, that is NOT preventing OSHA inspectors from issuing citations related to comdust using current regulations, by Jamison Scott.
  • 2011 Air Pollution Control – What is combustible dust? Do we have it in our plant? Who is in charge of safety? These and others questions are answered in this article.
  • 2011 Comdust Presentation – Jamison Scott of Air Handling Systems delivered an update on OSHA industrial and wood dust standards to some of the 176 attending delegates at the 2011 Wood Industry Conference in Marco Island, Fla.
  • 2011 ComDust Presentation – CBIA, Health and Safety Conference
  • 2010 Wood & Wood Products Article – Explosive: Identifying comdust and what you can do to manage it. By Jamison Scott
  • 2009 Woodworking Network Article – Report by Jamison Scott, Air Handling Systems on the OSHA Comdust Stakeholder meeting in DC as it appears on the Woodworking Network
  • 2009 CabinetMakerFDM Article – A status report on new regulations and standards that will affect how woodworkers handle comdust hazards.
  • 2009 Dollars and Sense of Going Green Conference. Comdust
  • NFPA 68 – Standard on Explosion Protection by Deflagration Venting
  • NFPA 654 – Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids
  • NFPA 664 – Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Explosions in Wood Processing and Woodworking Facilities

Other References

  • Dust Safety Science – The purpose of this website is to build a community around dust explosion prevention, protection, and research. The goal is to connect the dust explosion community to increase awareness of combustible dust hazards, and provide useful and educational material to powder handling industries, regulators, equipment and service providers, and researchers.