Vacuum Cleaning Systems to Handle Combustible Dust

Comply with new requirements

If your facility has potentially explosive dust, you must comply with new requirements.

For more than 125 years, Howden has worked with customers around the world in the aerospace, food processing, metalworking, mining, pulp and paper, pharmaceutical, and plastics industries to provide equipment solutions customized for specific applications. If your operation deals with any potentially explosive dust, contact Howden for guidance on vacuum cleaning system equipment solutions for housekeeping to help meet OSHA standards and comply with NFPA 652 / 654.

Today’s tighter regulations and stricter codes for healthier, safer manufacturing environments mean you need to efficiently clean up potentially explosive dust.

Combustible dust accidents happen more often than you think, and OSHA will fine you if you are violating NFPA standards. If you have these dusts in your plant — wood, coal, toner, charcoal, plastics, coffee, sugar, flour, cotton, paper tissue dust, or other combustible dust particles — your facilities are at risk for a deflagration or explosion.

OSHA specifies a list of materials that may create a hazard. If you have any on the OSHA list – or any other potentially explosive dusts — a Dust Hazard Analysis (DHA) must be completed to ensure you properly identify them and mitigate all risk.

For OSHA’s list of materials, click here.


Per NFPA 652 / 654, housekeeping is an approved method of keeping facilities clear of potentially explosive dust accumulations – meaning that quality vacuum cleaning equipment is key to compliance. Kst and Pmax data are required in order to design and install equipment and address housekeeping and explosion protection requirements. Howden can use the data to review your situation and make recommendations.

Designs are preliminary until approved by the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), who will also be responsible for providing a risk analysis for the system.

Wood, coal, toner, charcoal, plastics, coffee, sugar, flour, cotton, paper tissue dust, or other combustible dust particles – even a thin layer – can be hazardous. According to NFPA 652 / 654, a layer of dust no thicker than a dime on facility floors and horizontal surfaces such as ducts, pipes, hoods, ledges and beams need to be handled properly to be safe.

Our engineering team specializes in designing systems that pick up whatever potentially explosive dust you handle and address your specific housekeeping requirements.  The most important data needed to design a compliant system are your Kst and Pmax numbers. We use this data to incorporate explosion-proof (XP) features to help mitigate risk. Critical criteria including the number of operators at one time, facility layout and equipment location enable us to fully customize your system to your needs.

Contact Howden for vacuum cleaning equipment guidance before the September NFPA 652 / 654 deadline.

If you would like to submit an enquiry please get in touch.