Combustible dust is a risk in many different types of manufacturing facilities, posing a risk for explosions and injured workers. This dust is composed of tiny metal particles, which could ignite a deadly explosion and lead to injured workers with just one tiny spark. While there have been explosions in other countries due to this risk, there have also been several combustible dust accidents in the United States.
In 2011, one Tennessee manufacturing facility had three separate incidents that resulted in five deaths and that could have resulted in even more devastating consequences. The types of facilities that may be at a higher risk for these types of explosions also include food processing plants, rubber, wood, plastics and pharmaceutical facilities. This makes it extremely important for employers to practice safety procedures and observe safety measures, such as installing ventilation systems. Employees should also be trained in safe work habits and how to decrease the risk of these combustible explosion incidents.