Second industry accolade for BPE’s dust explosion project

BPE has picked up its second industry award in the space of just one month.

The company kicked off March by winning the HazardEx ‘Contribution to Safety’ award and last night made it a double as it was handed the Chemicals North West ‘Health and Safety’ award.

Jon McGeehan, who heads up BPE’s North West office and picked up the award, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have picked up not one but two awards for this project and it’s testament to the hard work put in by the team. Their deep knowledge of the scientific principles behind dust explosions, combined with their drive to find new ways to solve problems has helped to form a completely new approach to assessing and reducing risk.”

BPE’s new methodology came about after the company identified that while there is a clear legal requirement to reduce the risk from explosive dusts and carry out a hazardous area classification, no rigorous yet simple step-by-step approach existed.

Determined to make a change, BPE decided to create a toolkit to help process engineers explore the risks and provide practical solutions to help to secure targeted reduction in the risk of dust explosions.

The toolkit takes a step-wise approach and, innovatively, focuses on sources of dispersion rather than sources of release. This is because in the case of dust explosions most hazardous zones are inside equipment rather than outside and therefore arise from dispersion mechanisms, not release mechanisms.

The toolkit has already proven successful, having been implemented at a number of different sites including a pharmaceutical solid dosage plant, a creams manufacturing plant and a site that produces equipment for shot blasting metal and plastic parts.