Health and Safety
4 takeaways from Dust Safety Week 2019
By Maria Church
Dust Safety Week 2019 concludes today, the fifth and final day of exclusive content focused on combustible dust best practices, technical information and solutions to help pellet plants and sawmills keep their operations and operators safe.
Here’s a look at some of the takeaways from the week of exclusive feature articles focused on dust safety:
1) Don’t ignore safety culture
At the 2019 Wood Products Safety Summit held in Prince George earlier this month, Pinnacle Renewable Energy’s Scott Bax said workplace safety culture is not something companies should ignore.
“You are going to get a safety culture whether or not you do something about it. Not doing something creates its own culture. Just acknowledging that is a good first step,” Bax said.
A powerful keynote from burn survivor Spencer Beach reinforced Bax’s message and the harsh reality of what could happen when you work in an unsafe environment. Beach impressed upon the crowd the importance of creating not just an organization safety culture of policies and procedures, but also a compatible workers’ culture.
“You need to show them why it is they want to work and need to work in their organization’s safety culture,” he said.
2) Know your stuff
Several feature articles this week relayed technical information about combustible dust and gas in pellet plants and sawmills.
An article from Cariboo Biomass Consulting’s Kevin Ericsson outlines hazards and best practices for handling combustible off-gas in biomass dryer systems. He lists typical situations that lead to dryer fires and explosions, as well as frequent incident locations.
Gilles Plourde with Fike Canada also shared a technical article of case studies for explosion suppression in cyclones and metering bins.
And WorkSafeBC contributed an article that summarizes hazard controls required to prevent explosions in dust collection systems.
Other highlights include an article on dryer maintenance from Thompson Dryers, and a timeline of combustible dust mitigation and control in the B.C. wood products industry from the BC Forest Safety Council.
3) Understand your options
We published our newest equipment spotlight for dust collection and suppression systems in 2019. This handy list shares brief descriptions and photos of some of the latest designs and solutions for handling combustible dust in pellet plants and other wood products manufacturing facilities in Canada.
4) Safety learning never stops
Find all these feature stories and much more from our archives on the Dust Safety Week 2019 landing page, which will continue to be a hub for the industry to learn best practices and find the latest information on dust safety. Content on our landing page will be hosted there for the next year for readers to reference.
Want to get involved in Dust Safety Week 2020? Email Maria Church at firstname.lastname@example.org.