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Recycling industry workers at high risk for combustible dust explosions

Workrite Uniform Co. encourages workplace safety through the use of flame-resistant clothing

Recycling industry workers at high risk for combustible dust explosions

Combustible dust, accumulated particulate solids with the potential to ignite and create a flash fire hazard, is a present danger for a number of industries, with recycling facilities at number five behind food production, synthetic manufacturing, woodworking and metal processing. This according to California-based Workrite Uniform Company, a pioneer in the personal protective equipment market, who says that workers can reduce burn injury with the use of flame-resistant (FR) clothing — particularly if the clothing has been UL certified to NFPA 2112, the “Standard on Flame-Resistant Garments for Protection of Industrial Personnel Against Flash Fire.” 

To generate awareness and caution the industries that face the highest possible risk of combustible dust explosions, Workrite Uniform Company presents the following “Top 5” list.

Top 5 Workplaces At Risk Of Combustible Dust

1. Food Production

Many agricultural products —such as sugar, grains, egg whites and even powdered milk — carry a risk of combustion under the right conditions. Workers in the agricultural industry should be aware of the inherent risk of handling, transporting and storing these products.

2. Synthetic Manufacturing

Materials that are common in synthetic manufacturing, including rubber, plastics and other man-made substances, can create combustible dust clouds with the potential to ignite.

3. Woodworking

Frequently cutting, grinding, sanding and polishing wood can generate a significant amount of sawdust, which is able to easily combust in certain conditions –– such as being ignited by a spark from a nearby machine.

4. Metal Processing

Dust from metals, like aluminum, chromium, iron, magnesium and zinc, is combustible, and many of the activities in a metal processing environment can produce heat and sparks.

5. Recycling Facilities

Recycling facilities handle a wide variety of materials, and the sorting, processing, handling and transporting of these materials increases the risk of explosions caused by combustible dust.

According to Workrite, to help combat the heightened risk of combustible dust explosions, it is important for workplaces to perform risk assessments, keep work areas clean, conduct regular inspections and ensure that employees wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). For detailed information, review NFPA 654, the industry standard that provides the safety measures to prevent and mitigate fires and dust explosions in facilities that handle combustible particulate solids. 

For more information on combustible dust and other safety hazards, industry standards, and the role of FR clothing in workplace safety, visit

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1701 N. Lombard Street, Suite 200
Oxnard, CA
US, 93030


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