Please Wait...


A dust hazard analysis (DHA) is required by NFPA 652:2016, Standard on the Fundamentals of Combustible Dust. The related NFPA 654:2017, Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids, requires that the design of fire and explosion safety provisions for processes in facilities be based on a DHA of the facility and the processes. Any time a combustible dust is processed or handled, a potential for deflagration exists. The degree of deflagration hazard varies depending on the type of combustible dust and the processing methods used.

NFPA 652 applies to facilities that manufacture, process, blend, convey, repackage, generate, or handle combustible particulate solids where the materials present a fire, flash fire, or explosion hazard. Industries that handle combustible dusts include:

  • Agriculture
  • Chemicals
  • Coal dust in coal handling and processing facilities
  • Food products
  • Forest and furniture products (wood processing and woodworking)
  • Metal processing
  • Paper products
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Recycling operations (metal, paper, and plastic)
  • Textiles
  • Tire and rubber manufacturing plants
  • Wastewater treatment

A wide variety of materials can be explosible in dust form including food items (e.g. candy, sugar, spice, starch, flour, feed), grain, tobacco, plastics, wood, paper, rubber, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, dyes, coal, and metals (e.g., aluminum, chromium, iron, magnesium, and zinc).

A DHA is a systematic review to address potential fire, flash fire, or explosion hazards associated with the presence of combustible particulate solids in a process or facility. It involves the identification and evaluation of the process or facility areas where fire, flash fire, and explosion hazards exist. Where such hazards exist, and departures from safe operating ranges are possible, specific hazard scenarios are identified and evaluated. Safeguards that are in place to manage the hazards are documented and the need for additional safeguards is considered.

Why perform DHA?

  • Combustible dust explosions can kill and injure people and destroy entire buildings. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) identified 281 combustible dust incidents between 1980 and 2005 that led to the deaths of 119 workers, injured 718, and extensively damaged numerous industrial facilities.
  • NFPA standards require that a DHA be performed.
  • Numerous mandatory OSHA standards include provisions that address combustible dust hazards. Some are industry-wide and others are industry-specific. Also, OSHA has implemented a Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program, CPL 03-00-008.
  • Ultimately, OSHA has the authority to regulate combustible dust hazards under the General Duty Clause that requires employers to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards that cause or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees.

Why Primatech?

  • Primatech applies a step-by-step approach to DHA that incorporates proven hazard analysis approaches in addressing combustible dust hazards.
  • Primatech has conducted thousands of successful hazard analysis studies over a period of 30 years.
  • Primatech has pioneered and continues to develop new and improved approaches for performing and conducting hazard analysis studies. These approaches allow studies to be performed efficiently and effectively and also help to ensure study quality.
  • Primatech developed the world's first commercial hazard analysis software in 1988 and has evolved the software as hazard analysis approaches have improved over the years. It is used around the world by many companies. Primatech uses the software in our consulting projects to enhance study efficiency and effectiveness.

Services Offered

Primatech provides facilitators for all types of DHA studies, including:

  • Performance of design-stage DHAs.

    Studies are performed at the design stage to improve safety before a process is built.
  • Performance of initial DHAs.

    Initial DHAs are the first DHAs performed for an operating facility. They may be an update to a design-stage DHA.
  • Performance of revalidation DHAs.

    DHAs must be updated and revalidated periodically to account for changes that may have been made to the process. Commonly a period of 5 years is used.

Primatech also offers these DHA services:

  • Mentoring and coaching your personnel in DHA facilitation.

    An experienced Primatech facilitator assists your new facilitators in learning the ropes and gaining confidence in facilitating studies.
  • Reviewing DHAs.

    Primatech can review your completed DHAs and provide suggestions for improvements that will provide information useful in revalidating DHAs and improving the quality of your DHAs.
  • DHA Scribing.

    Primatech DHA team leaders are trained to simultaneously facilitate and document a DHA study. However, if required, Primatech can provide both a DHA team leader to lead a DHA study and a separate DHA scribe to handle the DHA recording tasks.

    We utilize Primatech's hazard analysis software in conducting and recording studies. Other software packages also can be used. We provide a detailed and comprehensive report documenting the study.