Process Hazard Analysis for a Food Packaging Manufacturer

The Challenge

During a Verified Pharmacy Program (VPP) inspection, a potential combustible dust hazard was found at a food packaging manufacturer. When the facility was given a quote for millions of dollars in expensive explosion protection equipment, they realized a more accurately defined risk analysis of their operations was needed.

Our Approach

The ioKinetic team conducted laboratory testing and a process hazard analysis to determine which areas contained true risks. This approach allowed the facility to add protections where real risk reduction would be realized, while avoiding unnecessary costs. Metal dusts, such as aluminum and magnesium, are commonly known to be explosible. Our client generated metal dust in their polishing operations, so it was critical to understand the hazard and define the housekeeping frequencies needed to maintain accumulation levels within acceptable limits. We calculated allowable accumulation levels in accordance with NFPA 654 recommendations as part of our process hazard analysis. While not specifically applicable to metal dusts, NFPA 654 offers good engineering practices that, when combined with NFPA 484's metal dust standard, can be relied upon to understand the dangers in metal dust handling operations.

The Benefits

Thanks to our in-depth understanding of relevant standards and best practices, our team was able to find a strategy that would streamline operations while drawing on best practices. We accurately defined the risks for over a dozen of our client’s food manufacturing facilities, all performed in accordance with NFPA 61 and 654 guidelines. The analysis also included evaluations of compliance with other RAGAGEPs, such as CCPS publications, the OSHA NEP for combustible dust, and, where applicable, NFPA 68, 69, 91, and 499. A variety of operations that produced or handled combustible dust were evaluated, including solids loading and unloading, bulk storage, conveying and drying, mixing and blending, milling and grinding, separation, and dust collection. In order to assess the frequency of potential explosions, the team also created fault trees for generic operations.

Learn More

ioKinetic has reduced process safety risk, maintained compliance and substantially increased peace of mind for our clients worldwide. To learn more about how we can help you manage risk, contact us today or call us at 1-844-ioKinetic.