5 Common Causes
The article describes the most common causes of such fires and explosions:
1. Combustible Dust - A major cause of fire in food manufacturing, woodworking, chemical manufacturing, metalworking, pharmaceutical and other industries.
2. Hot Work - Includes brazing, burning, heating and soldering, as well as welding and torch cutting.
3. Flammable Liquids and Gasses - Frequent at chemical plants, but many workplaces commonly use these materials.
4. Faulty Equipment and Machinery - Beyond furnaces, any mechanical equipment can become a fire hazard due to friction between moving parts.
5. Electrical Hazards - Including overloaded circuits and extension cords, exposed wiring and static discharge.
Preventing Fires and Explosions
Each of these causes require some unique fire prevention practices, in addition to adequate maintenance and training. Here's some general advice for avoiding fires and explosions:
- Conduct a hazard analysis
- Establish fire prevention and emergency procedures
- Provide fire safety training
- Conduct regular housekeeping
- Inspect and maintain equipment
- Read the full OH&S article for details and illustrations.
- Check the NFPA report on fires in industrial settings.
- Visit the OSHA Combustible Dust page.
- Browse Industrial Hazard signs.
- Browse Fire Safety signs and labels.