Risks from Combustible Dusts
Dr. Tony Green
ARGSAB Pacific Pty. Ltd.
Risk Event Spectrum
Decreasing probability
Magnitude
of Loss
Cygnus Atratus Events
Source: Blair Wainman 2008 Uncertainty in complex and complicated systems
 Rarity leads to little ...
Hurricane Katrina
Considered a black swan event
Source: AP/ David J. Phillip 26/08/2005
Source: Getty Images / Mario Tama ...
Tohoku Tsunami
“The homes on higher places will guarantee
the comforts of the descendants, Remind
the horror of the tsunam...
The Millennium Bug: fact or fiction?
Addition 99+1 = 00
1999+1 = 2000
Subtraction 00 – 1 = -1
2000-1 = 1999
1-01-1999 use ...
The Airport Line
Sydney
Design Criteria
 New rolling stock with enhanced
fire resistant characteristics
 Base fire load ...
What has this to do
with Dust Explosions?
Source: Ciba-Geigy
Hurricane Katrina
 Knowledge changes over time
 Allows for ...
Requirements for a Dust Explosion
Cloud containing particles that are sufficiently
combustible to cause an explosion (usu...
Assessments Required for Dust
Explosion Hazard
The physical and explosion properties of materials
used in the plant.
Pot...
A Resilient Process
Identify
Assess
Control
Monitor
Knowledge of Process
Knowledge of Dusts
Knowledge of human factors...
Key to Success
Ignition
Characteristics
Explosion Violence
Change in Size
Distributions
Knowledge of Process
and
Human Fac...
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Anthony Green - UNIVERSITY OF WOLLONGONG - What are the risks from Combustible Dusts?

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Anthony Green delivered the presentation at the 2014 Dust Explosions Conference.

The 2014 Dust Explosions Conference examined industrial hazards, the means to control or eliminate dust and analysed the latest technology to ensure the maximum protection and safety of organizations. The event also featured recent industrial case studies and new safety recommendations.

For more information about the event, please visit: http://www.informa.com.au/dust14

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Anthony Green - UNIVERSITY OF WOLLONGONG - What are the risks from Combustible Dusts?

  1. 1. Risks from Combustible Dusts Dr. Tony Green ARGSAB Pacific Pty. Ltd.
  2. 2. Risk Event Spectrum Decreasing probability Magnitude of Loss
  3. 3. Cygnus Atratus Events Source: Blair Wainman 2008 Uncertainty in complex and complicated systems  Rarity leads to little analysis (inverse Pareto law)  Rationalised after the event  Historically considered as outliers  Reality  Factors which lead to catastrophe are dynamic  Dynamic behaviour is poorly understood  Ignored because there is no immediate impact  Assessment focuses on static assumptions • Supposedly unforeseen consequences • Not within experience • The deduction is  It won’t happen  Cannot be foreseen  Cannot be controlled Out of sight Out of mind
  4. 4. Hurricane Katrina Considered a black swan event Source: AP/ David J. Phillip 26/08/2005 Source: Getty Images / Mario Tama 24/08/2010 Unpredictable in:  Strength  Landfall  Storm surge height  rainfall But:  5 categories of increasing strength  Estimates of wind strength, storm surge height, rainfall  Better tracking gives estimates of landfall Levee construction equivalent to Hurricane III  1950’s construction  Known to be vulnerable in 90’s  No review  Political expedience to the immediate
  5. 5. Tohoku Tsunami “The homes on higher places will guarantee the comforts of the descendants, Remind the horror of the tsunamis, do not build homes below this point. We suffered tsunamis in 1896 and also in 1933, only 2 villagers in the former disaster and 4 in the latter survived. Keep on your guard even years pass by.” Source: AP http://www.cbsnews.com/news/ancient-stone- markers-warned-of-tsunamis/ An intergenerational warning  There are hundreds of such stones  Most date from 1896 Meiji Sanriku and 1933 Showa Sanriku tsunamis.  25% built since 1896 disappeared in the Tohoku tsunami Three generations to Calamity  Those who experienced it don’t tend to repeat  The teaching to their offspring provide adequate warning to be cautious  The third generation take more risk often ignoring history How do your managers behave? Is it consistent with your risk history? Source: Mark Willacy – personal communication
  6. 6. The Millennium Bug: fact or fiction? Addition 99+1 = 00 1999+1 = 2000 Subtraction 00 – 1 = -1 2000-1 = 1999 1-01-1999 use of dates one year in advance 9-09-1999 End of file marker 1-01-2000 Y2k 29-02-2000 File length 1-10-2000 File length 10-10-2000 File length Some 20 other dates in future years to 2038  First identified as a problem in late 70s.  Gained traction in early 90s:  Multi national energy companies and banks, governments  Concern over embedded processors (PLCs)  How may and where  By 1998 software solutions for networks and connected applications  1999  33% FTSE 500 reported problems  90% believed serious disruption would have resulted  2000  4000 events worldwide  Most serious on Nuclear plant in Japan  Under reporting – reputation loss
  7. 7. The Airport Line Sydney Design Criteria  New rolling stock with enhanced fire resistant characteristics  Base fire load taken as the internal fire load of carriages  No account of passenger luggage or clothing  Diesels not routed through tunnel Tunnel design assumed Fire Intensity <20MW Human Factors quickly erode design criterion  Diesel routed through tunnel on 2nd day of operation  All pssenger rolling stock routed through tunnel  Certain locations preclude fire brigade operational time
  8. 8. What has this to do with Dust Explosions? Source: Ciba-Geigy Hurricane Katrina  Knowledge changes over time  Allows for alternative decisions  Human decision based on expediency  Failure to adapt systems to new knowledge is very costly Tohoku Tsunami  History is gradually lost unless compensated for  The maximum event must be considered Y2K  Early identification  Critical mass to do something  Action limits loss Airport Line  Design criteria versus operational reality  Emergency Plans Your critical Systems:  Have you analysed your system without control?  What changes in systems will lead to disaster?  What critical controls have you identified?  How do you ensure critical controls are maintained?  How do you capture and retain critical decisions in your organisation?
  9. 9. Requirements for a Dust Explosion Cloud containing particles that are sufficiently combustible to cause an explosion (usually <250mm) Cloud concentration in air between the flammable limits Sufficient oxygen premixed in the dust cloud An energy source that has a sufficient energy density and total energy to ignite the mixture
  10. 10. Assessments Required for Dust Explosion Hazard The physical and explosion properties of materials used in the plant. Potential sources of dust generation in the plant Potential sources of ignition in the plant Alternative control strategies and the cost benefit of each strategy Critical systems required to maintain and operate the plant within the plant specification Requirements for emergency plans
  11. 11. A Resilient Process Identify Assess Control Monitor Knowledge of Process Knowledge of Dusts Knowledge of human factors Engineered Process Human Factors Emergency Process What is the worst that can happen? What control reduces this? What dynamic factors reduce control? Critical monitoring:  engineering controls  Human factor control
  12. 12. Key to Success Ignition Characteristics Explosion Violence Change in Size Distributions Knowledge of Process and Human Factors
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