NFPA Releases New Combustible Dust Standard

combustible dust graphicBALTIMORE — The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) new combustible dust standard, NFPA 652, Standard on the Fundamentals of Combustible Dust, is now in effect.

Issued in August 2015, the standard includes the important new requirement of dust hazard analysis. The Association said 2017 editions of the 61, 652, and 664 standards have recently been issued, and the 652 standard includes a provision that points to the explosion prevention standards — 67, 68, and 69. The 652 standard sets out three fundamental principles, which are controlling the fuel, controlling the ignition sources, and limiting the spread of any combustion event.

A dust hazard analysis (DHA) is mandatory for existing processes and facilities within three years, and there should be documentation for each of these required elements: responsible party, due date, tracking of redesign activities, date action items are closed out, how they were closed out, and recommendations rejected for cause (if any) and why they were rejected.

Common techniques that are useful in the DHA process include HAZOP (Hazard Operability Analysis), checklist analysis, “what if”/checklist analysis, FMEA (Failure Mode Effects Analysis), and layers of protection analysis.