Combustible Dust - Applicable Regulations
Applicability and Compliance with the Safety Standards Act
- contain electrical or gas equipment,
- may contain combustible dust, and
- could generate a suspension of wood dust in the atmosphere
should be identified as hazardous locations as described by the Canadian Electrical Code, natural gas and propane codes and as well as other industry standards.
The installation or use of electrical or gas equipment within hazardous locations may require specific precautions to mitigate the risk of combustion. Both electrical equipment and gas equipment are regulated under the Safety Standards Act and Regulations. The standards adopted in those regulations (specifically: the BC Electrical Code and the BC Natural Gas and Propane Code) contain requirements for the installation and operation of regulated equipment located in hazardous locations.
Electrical equipment and gas equipment installed within a hazardous location must comply with the applicable hazardous location requirements. The Safety Standards Act states A person must not use a regulated product in a manner that is unsafe or that creates a risk of personal injury or damage to property (s.69(3)).
During installation, assumptions are made to support the selection of appropriate configurations and use of electrical equipment. Any condition deemed necessary for a particular configuration to be compliant at the time of installation must be maintained during operation. If operational activity results in a deviation from the assumed conditions necessary for the installation to remain safe, so that a residual by-product of production creates (e.g. processes that mill and move wood where combustible dust is likely in the atmosphere during operation) or contributes to a hazardous location (e.g. breakdown of dust collection equipment during operation that may cause an explosive dust atmosphere), compliance should be re-evaluated.
If hazard management techniques (e.g. housekeeping) fail to maintain a non-hazardous environment, equipment and installations in use at those locations that are not certified or configured for such a hazardous location fail to remain in a safe condition and are non-compliant to the Safety Standards Act.
Where to find interpretive materials
- Canadian Electrical Code Part 1 Section 18 Hazardous Locations (BC Electrical Code)
- International Electrotechnical Commission IEC 60079-10-2 Classification of Areas – Combustible Dust Atmospheres
- National Fire Code of Canada (BC Fire Code) Part 5 Hazardous Processes and Operations
- National Fire Prevention Association NFPA 499 – Classification of Combustible Dusts and of Hazards (Classified) Locations for Electrical Installations
- National Fire Prevention Association NFPA 664 – Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Explosions in Wood Processing and Woodworking Facilities
- Occupational Safety & Health Administration OSHA 3371-08 Hazard Communication Guidance for Combustible Dusts
- Propane Storage and Handling Code (CAN/CSA B149.2-10 Clause 4.7), Natural Gas and Propane Installation Code (CAN/CSA B149.1-10 Clause 4.9), Natural Gas Propane Code Handbook (B149HB-05) (BC Natural Gas and Propane Code)
Please refer to the Hazardous Locations - Introduction document.
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