Combustible Dust Safety

Food manufacturing workers are subject to hazardous exposure from combustible dusts—substances that, if combined with a source of ignition (heat) and an oxidizer (oxygen), may produce a combustible dust explosion.

The bakery and grain mill sectors are especially susceptible to risk of dust exposure and explosion because of combustible agricultural flour dusts such as oat flour, potato flour, rice flour, rye flour, and wheat flour that are used in sector operations. These sectors, as well as confectionary and candy manufacturers, also use other common bakery ingredients like sugar and spices, both of which are also combustible agricultural dusts as well.

All workplaces where workers are exposed to combustible dusts should post this OSHA poster.

Combustible Dust Hazards and Solutions

Combustible dust explosions can cause fires, flying debris, and even the collapse of building components. Employers should be aware of how explosions may occur and how to prevent such occurrences. Furthermore, employers should consider taking the following steps to minimize the risk of dust explosions.  

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