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Rules to Prevent Dust Explosions

A late nineteenth century American mill, equipped with roller mills and powered by a water turbine. The Armfield Engineering Company, page 66, "Windmills & Watermills," by John Reynolds, Hugh Evelyn Limited, London, and Prager Press, USA, 1970.

Rules to Prevent Dust Explosions

With additions by Theodore R. Hazen.

1. Keep your plant clean. See that beams, spouting, machines and floors are free from dust. A dust-free mill or elevator is explosion-proof.

2. Inspect the plant frequently for hot bearings.

3. Keep constantly on the watch for elevator choke-ups. If the drive belt does not jump off, or break, the friction and heat can set the roof afire.

4. Keep any slight rubbing, slipping, or other trouble with belts or machines.

5. Keep all foreign materials from entering the grinding machinery, by installing a magnetic separator. Add screens to prevent people from tossing material, coins, metal, etc., into the system.

6. Do not smoke while or near the mill or elevator.

7 Do not carry matches in or near the buildings.

8. Do not allow an open flame, lantern, or torch in the mill or elevator.

9. Do not lower artificial lights into bins to determine the amount of grain, flour, or feed stuffs that they contain. A weighted rope or measurement rope will give better results and eliminate the fire hazard.

10. Prevent the accumulation of static electricity on machines and belts by proper grounding methods.

11. Use only spark free motors in machines, dust exhausts, and vacuum cleaning systems. The motors used in the mill or keeping it clean can sometimes do the most damage, if they are not properly maintained or thought put into their purchase.

12. See that all electrical equipment is properly insulated, light bulbs well protected, and switch and fuse boxes kept closed. Light bulbs should be covered with glass and a crush proof enclosure and hanging lights should be avoided.

13. Never install or place shafting, spouting (chutes), or other equipment or machinery in the moving path of a belt. This means the moving belt plan from the path of travel that the belt makes between and over the two pulleys.

14. Remove all dust, dirt, and waste products daily. Do not store them in, around or near the mill or elevator.

15. Store all solvents, grease, grease guns, and chemicals that emit a flammable vapor in fire-proof containers or a cabinet, and if at all possible outside of the mill or elevator.

16. Use common sense.

Source: "Rules to Prevent Dust Explosions," no author, The Consolidated Grain Milling Catalogs, Edition Number 2, 1929-30, "Machinery, Equipment, Supplies, Construction, Etc., for Flour, Feed and Cereal Mills, Flour Warehouses and Grain Elevators," National Miller, Chicago, Illinois, 1929, page 299.

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Copyright 2002 by T. R. Hazen