Wood Dust Explosion Prevention


Dust explosions are one of the major preventable losses of life and property in industry today. Many installed systems are either old or non compliant to today's standards, are recent installations without the necessary explosion prevention features or poorly maintained resulting in questionable reliability of the installed safety features. This seminar is intended to cover all aspects of dust explosion prevention including NFPA and OSHA code requirements as well as recommended proven engineering practices which control the collection, transport, storage and disposal of explosive dusts.


This seminar will provide the participants with the necessary dust explosion prevention information to prepare a risk assessment and action plan to ensure code compliance and ensure the correct fire prevention engineering standards are used in their facilities.

Who Should Attend

This seminar is intended for HSE, operators, maintenance, engineering, insurers, inspectors and suppliers, who will benefit from an improved knowledge of how to design, install, operate, maintain and test existing or new explosive dust collection systems to ensure all required explosion safety devices are installed and operational through the life of the facility.

Benefits to Participants

  • Gain a better understanding of the requirements of a complete dust explosion prevention program
  • Recognize existing dust explosion problems and methods for correction
  • How to prepare a risk analysis and action plan
  • Familiarization of the applicable NFPA and OSHA codes relating to preventing dust explosions
  • Recommended practices for collection, transport, collection and storage of combustible dusts
  • Focus on methods for ensuring capture hoods are collecting +99% of produced dust
  • Review plant legal responsibilities for proactive dust explosion prevention programs
  • Requirements for scheduled inspection and testing of installed explosion prevention equipment also retaining record keeping
  • Improve your understanding of capital cost when implementing an explosion prevention program


Day 1 - registration/check-in will start at 8:00 a.m. with sessions to begin at 8:30 a.m. and adjourn at 4:30 p.m. Day 2 will commence at 8:30 a.m. and adjourn at 4:30 p.m. Lunch is on your own from 12 noon to 1:00 p.m. There will be 15 minute mid-morning and afternoon breaks.

Program Outline

Day 1

8:00 Registration
8:30 Meet & Greet
9:00 Introduction of Speakers
Why dust collection?
HSE aspects, interior air quality, exterior air quality & recycle opportunities
Hazards when not done safely (CBS video)
9:30 Critical Steps for Dust Explosion Prevention
Determine Dust Explosion Characteristics
Applicable Codes
Transport System
Collection Devices
Fire/Explosion Protection
Regular Inspection, Testing and Documentation requirements
10:15 Conversation Break
10:30 Session 1: Determining Explosive & Transport Properties of the Dust to be Handled (inc. KST)
Definition and typical sources of minimum ignition energy (MIE)
Minimum explosion concentration (MEC)
Which equipment and areas are under risk of explosion through evaluation of an explosion risk matrix?
11:45 Lunch (on your own)
12:45 Session 2: What Codes Apply for the Material to be Collected & Identified
Explosion risk areas and/or equipment
Which governing province/state inspector has jurisdiction
International Electrical Code
2:15 Conversation Break
2:30 Session 3: Safe Collection & Transport Methods for +99% Capture
Proper transport velocities to prevent build-up of combustible and/or explosive hazards inside the ducting.
Proper bonding methods to eliminate static build-up.
Sprinkler installation, spark detection and abort gates.
Backflow prevention for explosions traveling back into the process area.
4:00 Group Discussions, Questions & Answers
4:30 Adjournment

Day 2

8:30 Session 4: Collection Devices
How to determine the correct collection device and explosion protection method.
Shut off valves to reduce stack effect during a fire and isolate equipment after an explosion.
Rupture discs or explosion doors for controlled explosion relief, suppression systems for explosion protection.
9:15 Session 5: Fire Protection
Fire protection options, sprinkler design, CO2 systems, equipment interlocks, deluge systems and proper drainage.
Interior duct inspection and cleaning.
10:30 Conversation Break
10:45 Common Problems Overcome for Upgrading Explosion Protection in Existing Facilities
Recommendations and adherence to acceptable engineering /HSE practices Typical reasons for upgrades include:
Change in process components
Upgrade of older systems to current codes
Insurance inspection requirements
Local inspector having jurisdiction citation
Improperly designed system
Improperly installed system
Changes in HSE requirements
Changes in the use of the facility
11:45 Lunch (on your own)
12:45 Case Study 1: Upgrading typical wood shop shaker style dust collectors to Explosion and Fire Prevention Codes
Review of available vendor information for upgrading a dust explosion prevention system
2:00 Case Study 2: Review selected class participant submitted problems. Lab example for hood design and capture efficiency
(Group Discussion)
3:00 Conversation Break
3:15 Final Questions & Answers & Presentation of Course Certificates
4:30 Final Adjournment


John E. Bachynski, B.Sc. P.Eng., is President of EPM Consulting located in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He has 34 years’ experience in the field of Mechanical Engineering, specializing in plant air quality, dust collection, transport, storage and dust explosion prevention. Since graduating from the Technical University of Nova Scotia (TUNS) (B.Eng., Mechanical) in 1980 he has worked continuously in the testing, design, installation and commissioning of industrial dust collection and explosion prevention systems. His project experience includes dust and fume collection systems, dilute and dense phase pneumatic conveying systems in the rubber, cement, coal, steel, grain, foundry, salt, machining, wood pellets, pulp, paper and wood handling facilities. He continues his growing client base in Canada, United States, Mexico and Europe specializing in upgrading plants to prevent dust explosions and also designing, commissioning and testing for new facilities. Mr. Bachynski has published articles on dust related topics for Bulk and Powder magazine, and has been a technical presenter for the dust related topics for Powder and Bulk, Dalhousie University, College of Continuing Education, NFPA International Technology Conference and private industry. He was nominated for a Canadian design award 1982, and received the Nova Scotia Award for Energy Conservation, Large Industry Sector, 1988 for the installation of a 40TPD wood dust burning boiler.