Orange, CA, April 30th, 2012 -- Last week, a sawmill in Prince George, British Columbia exploded and caught on fire. The explosion was heard blocks away from the disaster and some residents thought there had been an earthquake.
The explosion and fire killed two workers and injured over 20 others. Some of the injured have been admitted to local hospitals suffering from burns and other related injuries.
Although the cause of the explosion that caused the explosion and massive fire is still under investigation, many experts are looking closely at combustible dusts as a probable culprit. Reports indicate that at least one other mill in the area has halted operations as government safety officials begin inspections.
According to one report about the incidence, a union representative stated that because of the recent economic downturn clean-up crews had been reduced. When wood dust in a sawmill builds up it can create a combustible dust hazard. In addition to the familiar fire triangle of oxygen, heat, and fuel (the dust), dispersion of dust particles in sufficient quantity and concentration can cause rapid combustion.
“Combustible dusts are fine particles that present an explosion hazard when suspended in air under certain conditions,” reported Brian Mcfarland, Vice President from Legends Environmental Insurance, a leading provider of insurance coverage for remediation, reconstruction and environmental professionals. “A dust explosion can be catastrophic and cause employee deaths, injuries and destruction of entire structures. In many combustible dust accidents, employers and employees aren’t even aware that a hazard existed. Fortunately there are professionals who Legends provides insurance coverage that help prevent combustible dust explosions. They conduct indoor air quality (IAQ) and health and safety inspections in sawmills and other industries that have a high risk of these types of catastrophic events,” he continued.
Legends recently sponsored an educational video about combustible dust hazards that can be seen at:
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