The recent fire in a wheat silo in Cootamundra has heightened the awareness of the risks involved in handling grain including the possibility of a grain dust explosion.
Whilst there have been several dust explosions in Australia in recent years, fortunately no fatalities have occurred.
TAFE NSW - Western Institute is working to improve rural Australia’s safety record in this field with the development of a specific training course aimed at raising people’s awareness of the risks of a dust explosion which can be delivered at industry locations across NSW.
According to Neil Milton, from TAFE NSW – Western Institute, “a demonstration of a dust explosion shows dramatically how little dust is required to cause an explosion… it really opens people’s eyes as to the damage that can be caused.”
“The damage caused by a grain-dust explosion can be horrific and the damage bill can run into millions of dollars and the risk of injury or death is also high.”
Mr Milton explained that an explosion can occur if all the factors required for an explosion are present including dust in suspension and a confined space like in storage areas.
“For an explosion to occur there needs to be a source of ignition, such as a spark,” he said.
Western Institute’s course is for everybody who works with grain or other combustible dusts.
In it the reasons leading to a dust explosion are explained and methods of preventing a dust explosion in the workplace are investigated.
For information about Dust Explosion Awareness courses call 6391 4000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.