Over 70% of powders handled in industry are capable of giving rise to dust explosions under the right conditions. Many of these powders can be found in the food and beverage sector, including sugar, sweeteners, starch, flour, grain, vitamins, amino acids, resins, gums, flavour ingredients, caffeine, and many others.
A number of these materials have been involved in some of the most devastating dust explosion incidents that have occurred in industry. For example, the 2008 Imperial Sugar dust explosion incident in Port Wentworth, Georgia, was responsible for 14 deaths and 42 serious injuries.
In this article, Chilworth's Simon Gakhar examines some myths that have become established in areas where dust explosion hazards are present, and shares some of his experiences advising clients on mitigating risk.
Originally published in Hazardex magazine, July 2015.