Category: Sanitation & Janitorial

Understanding Dust Hazard Analysis (DHA)

Every year, destructive and deadly dust-related fires and explosions affect a wide range of industries around the globe, including the food processing industry. 

According to the 2021 Combustible Dust Incident Report Summary by Dust Safety Science, in the United States alone, there has been an average of 133 fires, 30 explosions, 39 injuries, and one to six fatalities per year (between 2016 and 2021). 

To help manage dust-related fires, flash fires, and explosion hazards, the NFPA® introduced NFPA 652: Standard on the Fundamentals of Combustible Dust

All facilities that handle or produce combustible dust, or particulate solids that may become dust, are at risk of a potential dust explosion. NFPA 652 defines combustible dust as a “finely divided combustible particle solid that presents a flash fire hazard or explosion hazard when suspended in air of the process-specific oxidizing medium over a range of concentrations.” A dust explosion occurs when the following elements combine at the same time: combustible dust, oxygen in air, dispersion, confinement, and ignition. 

To improve plant safety and minimize or mitigate potential risks, NFPA 652 requires facilities to complete a Dust Hazard Analysis (DHA).

What Is A Dust Hazard Analysis?

DHA is a tool used to identify the specific combustible dust hazards associated with a facility’s process to determine where credible fire, flashfire, and explosion hazards exist—allowing a facility to create a plan to minimize or mitigate potential risks.

Who Is Required To Complete A Dust Hazard Analysis?

All facilities that manufacture, blend, package, repackage, convey, or handle combustible dust or particulate solids that may become dust are required to complete a Dust Hazard Analysis per NFPA 652.

Who Can Complete A Dust Hazard Analysis?

NFPA 652 recommends a Dust Hazard Analysis be completed by a team (not required) and led by a qualified person (required). If a facility decides to complete a DHA as a team, Plant Engineers, Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) personnel, and Plant Management are frequently involved in the process as they all provide valuable perspectives. Consider including Maintenance and Operations personnel who often have hands-on experience for additional insight to potential combustible dust hazards.

It is highly recommended to have a third-party conduct and complete a Dust Hazard Analysis to avoid the risk of overlooking potential hazards. Contact Nelson-Jameson for third-party referrals in your area.

When Is A Dust Hazard Analysis Required?

NFPA 652 requires a Dust Hazard Analysis to be completed for all new installations or expansions/upgrades to existing installations. A Dust Hazard Analysis should also be completed every five years, even if no changes have been made.

Why Is A Dust Hazard Analysis Required?

Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ’s) require a Dust Hazard Analysis be completed to comply with NFPA 652. (AHJ’s = OSHA, Insurance Providers, Facility Safety Personnel, & Fire Marshals). The DHA will provide the facility with the areas/environments in which updates are necessary to comply with NFPA 652. Example: combustible dust safe certified industrial vacuums (not including shop-style vacuums or non-certified vacuums).

Currently, NFPA 652 is the standard for dust basics and is a good starting point for combustible dust standards, best practices, and the requirements for a Dust Hazard Analysis (DHA). The other five standards, all of which are commodity-specific, are:

  • NFPA 61: Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Dust Explosions in Agricultural and Food Products Facilities
  • NFPA 484: Standard for Combustible Metals
  • NFPA 654: Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids
  • NFPA 655: Standard for Prevention of Sulfur Fires and Explosions
  • NFPA 664: Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Explosions in Wood Processing and Woodworking Facilities

A Dust Hazard Analysis varies for each company depending on their specific requirements. Contact Nelson-Jameson for referrals on third-parties to conduct a Dust Hazard Analysis for your facility.

Watch Our Webinar: Dust Busters!

Learn How To Prevent & Mitigate Combustible Dust Hazard

Combustible dust consists of fine particles that can create hazardous conditions in certain environments and can result in catastrophic fires, explosions, or other safety hazards for personnel. Learn how to mitigate dangerous combustible dust directly from the leading experts in dust hazard prevention.

Gain a deeper awareness and knowledge of the combustible dust danger in your industry, by watching our Dust Busters Webinar. You will learn:

What Is A Combustible Dust Explosion?

Site Dust Hazard Assessments

Combustible Dust Mitigation

Frequently Asked Questions

Designed for people who assess and manage plant operations including:

Safety Directors, Plant Managers, Quality Control, Production Managers, Environmental Health & Safety Managers, Engineering, Maintenance, Sanitation and Purchasing departments. Perfect for processing facilities, manufacturing plants, and other environments that can generate combustible dust.

Watch Now:

5S Lean Solutions for The Food Industry

5S is more than a program, it is a comprehensive system for organizing spaces so work can be performed efficiently, effectively, and safely. This system focuses on putting everything where it belongs and keeping the workplace clean, which naturally promotes a safer workplace with more efficiency.

When implementing a 5S system, it is important to remember to start small. Start with a pilot project to get a feel for if/what employee training is needed—how to implement the system, how to track progress, and how to celebrate success.


  1. Sort: Separate the tools that are needed to get the job done.
    Remove everything else.
  2. Set in Order: Place all relevant tools within reach of operatives and reduce the need to be away from the workstation.
  3. Shine: Maintain safety and order in the workplace by keeping the tools clean and helping to reduce defects.
  4. Standardize: Create practices that will ensure maintenance of the steps you have already taken by introducing Shadow Boards with color-coded tools.
  5. Sustain: Stay consistent and constantly review standards.

For more information on 5S systems or how to get started, contact our Product Specialists or visit our Learning Center.

Tags: , , ,

Keeping It Safe At Home This Holiday Season: Allergies

As the song goes, “if the fates allow” we’ll perhaps be able to see more friends and loved ones in person this holiday season. If you are hosting any holiday guests, it can often feel like you have enough on your plate to begin with (a small holiday pun there…), before even thinking about guest dietary restrictions.  However, a bit of planning can go a long way to make all of your guests feel welcome and cared for, no matter what dietary restrictions they may face due to factors like their religious affiliation, personal preference, health issues, allergies/sensitivities, etc.   

More specifically here, in terms of contending with food allergies you can use these seven festive tips to better accommodate your guests with these dietary restrictions.     

  1. Know your major allergens. 90%(!) of known allergic reactions come from 8 key foods: milk, eggs, fish, crustaceans, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans.  
  2. Read your labels. Food producers are required to label any foods that contain one of the “big 8” allergens. Check the label for assistance in knowing what to safely purchase.   
  3. Avoid cross-contamination. Use clearly marked, separate utensils, cutting boards, etc. when handling foods, if there are allergens. Consider color-coding for an easy-to-identify system in your kitchen.
  4. Clean and sanitize your work areas and utensils after handling food allergens. 
  5. Be sure to advise guests with food allergies on what foods to avoid. You can always label foods to assist as well. 
  6. Keep an eye out for the signs of an allergic reaction. Symptoms can vary, but recognizing symptoms like wheezing, hives, face/tongue/lip swelling can save lives.  
  7. The easiest thing to do is ask. Check in with guests before hosting your event if they have any allergies or food restrictions. Doing so means a great deal to guests with food allergies/restrictions, as it helps anticipate their needs and makes them feel welcome and included in the festivities.

You can learn more about many of the points above from this handy sheet from the FDA.  The happiest and healthiest of holidays to you and yours from Nelson-Jameson!

Tags: , ,

The Many Applications of UV-C Disinfecting

UV-C Disinfecting in The Food Industry

UV-C light disinfectant Ensuring proper disinfection of your food processing equipment is paramount in eliminating pathogens from wreaking havoc on your bottom line. Traditional chemicals have been a part of the cleaning process for generations in the food and beverage industry. In recent years, another form of disinfecting has made its way into the fold that works hand in hand with your traditional cleaning program, Ultraviolet-C (UV-C) light. UV-C light utilizes short wavelengths of light to deactivate and eliminate microorganisms such as bacteria, mold and viruses in a matter of seconds.

UV-C light is able to enhance the effects of traditional cleaning solutions.

After a thorough cleaning using your standard CIP and COP procedures, you are able to illuminate your surfaces with the powerful UV-C light that has been shown to break down the microorganisms that traditional chemicals leave behind by reaching into all of those hard to reach places. Utilizing the perfect one-two-punch of chemicals and UV-C light creates superior sanitation that virtually eliminates all threats of contamination on your food processing equipment.

Even though UV-C is not a substitute for thoroughly cleaning your food processing equipment, using it in conjunction with traditional chemicals in the sanitation process provides you with a vital tool in your toolbox of cleaning supplies. 

Ensure you are using the very best in UV-C technology with the Aurora UV Disinfecting Device from SMS Technologies that you can order right here.  Thanks to UV-C, the crucial last step in cleaning and sanitizing your food processing equipment has never been easier or more efficient.

UV-C Disinfecting in The Laboratory

Introducing: nUVaCleanTM UV Pipette Carousel
The first and only pipette rack that not only organizes and protects six pipettes, but also destroys greater than 99% of unwanted contamination. Using a germicidal UV-C lamp, a high-efficiency reflector/concentrator completely bathes pipette shafts in 254 nm UV light. This exposure destroys unwanted microbiological contaminants and prevents cross-contamination in PCR and other sensitive procedures.

Just place single-channel pipettes of any range or brand in the carousel and press the “start” button to begin the auto-decon cycle. After 28 minutes this device will power down automatically, delivering up to 6 pipettes that are safe, clean, and ready for use.