Over the last ten years, grain dust explosions have occurred at an average of 10 explosions per year. You might look at that number and think that grain dust explosions aren't something you need to worry about. However, the magnitude of these explosions can be devastating. These explosions can bring down entire operations, causing injuries and even fatalities. But with prevention, grain dust explosions can be avoided.
To understand grain dust explosions, it is helpful to understand the elements that make up the fire triangle and the explosion pentagon. Many people are familiar with the fire triangle of heat, fuel and oxygen. By removing one of the three elements of fire, you can prevent or put a fire out. OSHA says five elements must be present for a dust explosion to occur. They are heat, fuel, oxygen, dispersion of dust and confinement. Industry experts sometimes refer to this as the explosion pentagon. Like fire, if any of the 5 elements are removed, an explosion cannot occur.