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1 l PREVENT TON OF GRAIN ELEVATOR AND M] LL EXPLOSIONS P - port of the Panel on Causes and Prevention of Grain Elevator Explosions - of the Committee on Evaluation of Industrial Hazards - NATIONAL MATERI ALS ADVISO" BOARD Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems National Research Council National Academy of Sciences Publication NMAB 367-2 National Academy Press Washi ngton, D .C. 1982 1

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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was:approved.by.the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the Councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the panel responsible for the report were chosen for their special c~petences and with regard for appropriate balance.' The report has been reviewed by a group other than.the authors according to procedures approved'by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of . . the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. .. The National Research Council was established by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and of advising the federal government. The Council operates in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy under the authority of its congressional charter of 1863, which established. the Academy. as a private, nonprofit,' self-governing membership corporation. The Council has become ache principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in the conduct of their services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. It is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine were established in- 1964 and 1970, respectively, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences . ' . ' This study by the National Materials Advisory Board was conducted under Contract No. J-9-F-8-0137 with' the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHAl. Funding was provided by OSHA, National Institute.for Occupational Safety and Health, and the Department of Agriculture. This report is for sale by the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, Virginia 22151. Printed in the United States of America. ii

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ABSTRACT The panel, in this second report of the causes and prevention of grain elevator explosions, presents an overview of the dust explosion problem in grain-handling facilities. Recommendations are made that could reduce the present danger of explosions. A systems approach to risk management was employed that permits all aspects of a situation to be considered simultaneously rather than separately or sequentially. An attempt was made to identify every possible hazard that contributes to grain dust explosions in elevators and mills. Each identified hazard was evaluated in terms of its significance to explosion potential--the most consequential having the highest ranking and the least consequential the rawest. Based on these rankings, the panel formulated its recommendations, balancing those actions that address the most significant hazards with those that cost the least to implement. Discussed in sue detail are preventive measures to forestall a dust explosion, constraints imposed by the cost of dust control measures, insurance against loss and injury, cooperation between government regulatory agencies and industry, the legal environment, elevator operator housekeeping practices, and the psychological factors involved. 1 iii

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1 PREFACE Agricultural dust explosions have an extensive history. She earliest recorded explosion in a grain-handling facility occurred in a flour mill in Turin, Italy, in 1785. * The U.S. government first took official notice of such explosions in 1913 following one in a feed grinding plant in Buffalo, New York. During and immediately following World War I, the United States Grain Corporation conducted a program to investigate grain elevator explosions and to recommend measures to prevent them. The National Fire Protection Association (NE~A) recently published a list of important dust explosions, excluding those in coal mining, occurring in the United States and Canada since 1960. These and other reports and investigations, however, have done little to reduce the frequency or severity of explosions. As in the past, a flurry of activity followed a series of disastrous explosions in late 1977. Industry, labor, and government all increased their explosion prevention efforts. me federal government, through the Ocoupational Safety and Health Administration (OSMA), the Department of Agriculture and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSlI), requested that the National Academy of Sciences' National Materials Advisory Board (NMAB)** through its existing Committee on Evaluation of Industrial Hazards establish a panel to study the grain-handling industry and to recommend measures to reduce the explosion hazard. Therefore, the Panel on Causes and Prevention of Grain Elevator Explosions was formed, composed of experts in many fields related to explosions, the grain industry, and systems analysis. * Count Morozzo, Repertory of Arts and Manufacturers 2 (1795) :416-432 (referred to in R. N. Palmer, Dust Explosions and Fires, pp. 7-8. 1973) . ** The National Materials Advisory Board is a unit of the Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems of the National Research Council. Its general purpose is the advancement of materials science and engineering in the national interest. It fulfills that purpose by providing advice and assistance to government agencies and private organizations on matters of materials science and technology affecting the national interest, by focusing attention on the materials aspects of problems and opportunities, and by making appropriate recommendations for the solution of such problems and the exploitation of the opportunities. v 1

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The panel members toured a number of elevators and mills ranging in size from small country elevators to large export elevators, investigated a number of explosions that occurred during the panel's tenure, and visited the research facilities of Cargill, Inc., in Minneapolis, Minnesota and the Department of Agriculture in Manhattan, Kansas. A number of tutorial sessions were held during which members of industry, labor, and government presented technical information and expressed their views on managerial and administrative matters affecting safety in the industry. The chairman, on behalf of the panel, gratefully acknowledges the contributions of these individuals: Ludwig Benner, Jr., Ernest Davis, and Brad Grose of the National Transportation Safety Board; Robert E. Frey and- Sidney Orem of the Industrial Gas Cleaning Association; James Maness and Mark Goedde of the National Grain and Feed Association; John Mealy of the Grain Elevator and Processing Society; Joseph Gillis of Fenwal, Inc.; Larry Barber of the American Federation of Grain Millers; Thomas Gillum of the Allied Industrial Workers; Max Spencer of the Continental Grain Corporation and the NEPA; Walter "flog of the Eellog Grain Company; Gary McDaniel of MAC Pneumatic Systems, Inc.; Charles Rockwell of CEA Carter-Day Company; Philip Sheeler of the Food and Drug Administration; James Otter of Scandura, Inc.; G. D. Grant of Uniroyal,- Inc.; Roger Myhre of Koppel, Tnc.; William Fox of Lakeland Engineering Equipment Company; Bruce Beelman of the U.S. Department of Labor; and Robert Schoeff of the University of Kansas. Appreciation also is extended to the liaison representatives of the panel and to the AHAB s upport s taf f . This report of the panel presents an overview of the dust explosion problem in grain-handling facilities and includes recommendations for reducing the present danger. The panel believes that effective implementation of these recommendations requires understanding on the part of all who are associated with the grain industry (i.e., managers, workers, federal and state employees, legislators, labor officials, insurance underwriters, and equipment manufacturers). Therefore, this report is intended for an audience with widely varied interests in and experience with grain and grain-handling facilities. Detailed technical information is presented in appendixes. The term Grain-handling industry" is used throughout this report and encompasses both grain elevators and the various grain processing mills. Mills not located next to grain elevators elevate and store grain and other commodities in the same manner as grain elevators (with one exception, dust pelletizing mills); consequently, they have the same problems as grain elevators except for dust disposal. Each mill also has additional explosion problems particular to the processing performed, and these unique problems are discussed in an appendix to this report. Roger A. S trehlow, Chairman V1

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1 Chairman PANEL ON CAUSES AND PREVENTION OF GRAIN ELEVATOR EXPLOSIONS ROGER A. STREHLOW, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 1 Members JOHN E. ALBERTSON, American Federation of Government Employees, Washington, D.C. WILLIAM C. BRASIE, Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Michigan ROBERT M. FRYE, MAC Pneumatic Systems, Tnc., Kansan City, Missouri l VERNON L. GROSE, Tustin Institute of Technology, Santa Barbara, California ROBERT F. HUBBARD, Cargill, Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota CHARLES W. KAUFFMAN, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor ERNEST C. MAGISON, Honeywell Tnc., Fort Washington, Pennsylvania ALLEN I. ORMSBEE , University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign ALBERT S. TOWNSEND, National Agra Underwriters, Tnc., Camp Hill, Pennsylvania Liaison Representatives l EDWARD J. BALLITCH, Food and Drug Administration, Washington, D.C. PETER BOCHNAK, National Institute for Occupation Safety and Health, Morgantown, West Virginia MARTIN A. ESHLEMAN, Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. DON GOODWIN, Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina vii

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DONALD D. HERRING, Department of.Agriculture' Washington, D.C. JOHN F. McANULTY, U.S. Coast Guard, Washington, D.C. THEODORE A. Phi, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, West Virginia JOSEPH E. PIPRIN, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Washington, D.C. YEShAJAHU POMERANZ, Department of Agriculture, Manhattan, Ransas THOMAS H. SEYMOUR, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Washington, D.C. . BERNARD T. WOLESON, U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. NMAB Staff STANLEY M. BAREIN, Staff Scientist NELSON T. GRISAMORE, Staff Scientist *Appointed during the course of the study. 1 viii

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1 Chairman COMMITTEE ON EVALUATION OF INDUSTRIAL HAZARDS 1 HOMER W. CARHART, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington,. D.C. Members FREDERICK R. EIRICH, Polytechnic Institute of New York, New York LELAND J. HALL, The Mill Mutuals,. Chicago, Illinois ERNEST C . MAGISON, Honeywell Inc ., Fort Washington, Pennsylvania J. ARTHUR NICHOLLS, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor PETER J. SCHRAM, Underwriters Laboratories, Tnc., Northbrook, Illinois ROGER A. STREHLOW, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Liaison Representatives PETER BOCHNAK, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, West Virginia CHTA CHEN, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Washington, D.C ANDREW M. COWAN, Department of Agriculture, Belt~ville, Maryland JOHN A. GERARD, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, West Virginia RICHARD W. McQUAID, David W. Taylor Naval Ship Research and Development Center, Annapolis, Maryland JOSEPH E. PIPKIN, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Washington, D.C. THOMAS H. SEYMOUR, Occupational Safety and Health Administration Washington, D.C. 1X 1

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# ~1~1 ~8 ERSKINE HARTON, Consultant, Falls Church, Virginia MURRAY JACOBSON' Mine Safety and Health ^dministratidn, Arlington, Virginia STANLEY Me BARKIN, Staff Scientist l I x