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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200610913 - No Employees Were Injured - Dust Collection System Explosion

Accident: 200610913 -- Report ID: 0111700 -- Event Date: 01/10/2001
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30254118001/11/20013995Batesville Casket Company, Inc.
At 3:24 p.m. on January 10, 2001, no employees were injured when an explosion occurred within a dust collection system at the Batesville Casket Company. The Nashua Fire Department responded to the incident. Batesville Casket manufacturers wooden caskets and during the manufacturing process both wood chips and dust are created by various types of wood working equipment. The Batesville Casket dust collection system transported wood chips and dust primarily into Silo Number 1 and Silo Number 2 via ductwork. This ductwork is equipped with spark detectors and spark extinguishing systems. The air, wood chips and wood dust travel through the ductwork, into a bag house, through a rotary air lock and into either Silo Number 1 or Silo Number 2 (two separate identical systems). The rotary air lock transported wood chips and dust into the attached silo (these rotary air locks were designed to prevent deflagration propagation between the silo and upstream ductwork and equipment). In the winter, Batesville Casket recycles air from the bag houses (Silo Number 1 and Silo Number 2) back into the manufacturing facility. Wood chips and dust were transferred by a fan system from Silo Number 1 and Silo Number 2 into Silo Number 3 where it would be temporarily stored. The wood chips and dust were then transferred into and removed from the site by a vehicular trailer. On January 10, 2001, the explosion and fire initiated within Silo Number 3, which was located outdoors. According to witnesses, a "fireball" traveled from Silo Number 3 via explosion relief vents in several directions. After the explosion, the main building windows, roof and adjacent storage shed were involved in a fire. The Nashua Fire Department responded to the scene and extinguished all fires and subsequently investigated the cause of the incident. The Nashua Fire Department's conclusion was "...this fire is the result of mechanical friction created when the steel housing contacted the steel chain drive creating heat of friction and possibly sparks. This coupled with the low level of the sawdust in the silo created an opportunity for this heat and sparks to come in contact with an atmosphere containing the proper ratio of combustible dust and oxygen. This created a dust explosion and subsequent fire inside this silo and other portions of the dust collection system." The Nashua Fire Department also found "the point of origin was located inside the sawdust storage silo at the point where the auger drive chain contacted the steel housing. This was evidenced by the discoloration and burned paint on the housing indicating high heat in this area. This housing was in an area of approximately 2-3 feet in diameter showed a black discoloration indicating no sawdust was covering this area. The inside walls of the silo showed a clear line of demarcation where paint had been burned off indicating the level of sawdust along the walls." According to interviews during the inspection, there was no evidence of fire damage within the bag house or ductwork upstream of Silo Number 3. The deluge system located in Silo Number 3 was manually activated by employees post explosion. Additionally, the Nashua Fire Department utilized their equipment to extinguish and prevent extension of the fire in the dust collection equipment and on the exterior of the building. No employees were injured during the explosion.
Keywords: dust collector, explosion
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 302541180 Occupation not reported

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