Combustible Dust Explosions - Causes and Prevention

Training overview
Professional Course
Self-paced Online
1 hour
From 30 USD
Start dates
30 USD
Start anytime!
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Course description

In Combustible Dust Explosions - Causes and Prevention, you'll learn ...

  • What causes dusts to be much more flammable than bulk materials
  • The elements that comprise the dust explosion pentagon
  • The differences between a primary and secondary explosion
  • Common materials that may become a combustible dust
  • Methods used in industry to prevent dust explosions


Credit: 1 PDH

Length: 14 pages

The worst dust explosion in American history occurred at a grain elevator in Westwego, Louisiana on December 22, 1977, killing 36 people. Although the cause of the explosion is still unknown, experts believe that a spark of ignition, either from machinery or static electricity, led to the explosion.

The blast destroyed 48 of the 73 giant silos used to store soybeans, wheat and oats at the plant. Most of the men that died were trapped in a two-story, cinder block office building that was crushed when a nearby 25-story grain elevator exploded.

Many people equate dust explosions with grain elevators. However, dust explosions have occurred in many different types of workplaces and industries, including food production, chemical manufacturing (e.g. , rubber, plastics, pharmaceuticals), woodworking facilities, metal processing facilities and coal mines.

In this course, you’ll learn the necessary conditions required for a dust explosion to happen. You’ll learn why fatalities from dust explosions have largely been the result of secondary dust explosions that occurred after the initial explosion. You’ll learn about the mechanisms of dust explosions and how a seemingly benign product such as grain or powdered milk can explode violently under the right conditions.

You’ll learn methods used in various industries to prevent dust explosions and to mitigate the loss of life and property when they do occur. Finally, you’ll review the details of several real-world dust explosions that occurred in the U.S. over the last 15 to 20 years.

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Who should attend?

Certificate of Completion

You will be able to immediately print a certificate of completion after passing a multiple-choice quiz consisting of 10 questions. PDH credits are not awarded until the course is completed and quiz is passed.

Training content

This course teaches the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • The NFPA’s definition of a dust explosion
  • The elements of the dust explosion pentagon that can be controlled to a significant extent – and those that can’t
  • Safe lower explosive limit (LEL) for dust
  • Sources of combustible dust
  • Industries that are susceptible to dust explosions
  • Common ignition sources in dust explosions
  • The role of particle size, surface area and mass in dust explosions
  • Dust explosion protection and mitigation methods
  • Case studies of previous dust explosion incidents


This course costs $29.95 - Contact PDHengineer to learn about discounts and upcoming offers

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7915 FM 1960 West, Suite 130
77070 Houston Texas

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