Combustible Dust

A Risk Assessment can help protect your business and staff

About combustible dusts, flammable substances and TEG Risk

Fire and explosion risks are not only associated with flammable substances e.g. solvent vapours but also combustible dusts which includes milk powder, flour, sugar and other organic or metallic powders that can suspend in air and be ignited (smaller than 500 microns). Minimising risks of these explosive substances requires a total risk management approach – from good engineering design and specification to good practice such as housekeeping.

Focusing on the specific issue of explosive substances in the workplace, the team at TEG Risk has a deep understanding of the risks presented by substances such as combustible dust, and how to mitigate powder explosions, dust explosions, and more. We know all too well the potential dangers of ignorance in relation to combustible dust, take the Imperial Sugar Explosion for example, which we now know was avoidable, had the correct processes and checks been in place.

The TEG Risk team is experienced in not just the electrical compliance legal requirements associated with combustible dusts but all ignition source risks. We can provide detailed risk assessments to identify all hazards and risks and provide control measures to address all risks and not just electrical based ignition sources. We are committed to ensuring workplace safety for all, and we understand the significant risk of combustible dusts (and how that can be and is overlooked).

Flour Explosion - Combustible Dust

Combustible dusts

The US regulator, OSHA defines combustibles dusts as ‘A solid material composed of distinct particles or pieces, regardless of size, shape, or chemical composition, which presents a fire or deflagration hazard when suspended in air or some other oxidizing medium over a range of concentrations. Combustible dusts are often either organic or metal dusts that are finely ground into very small particles, fibers, fines, chips, chunks, flakes, or a small mixture of these.’

Examples of materials that can be a combustible dust hazard include (but are not limited to):


  • agricultural products such as egg whites, powdered milk, cornstarch, sugar, flour, grain, potato, rice, etc.
  • metals such as aluminum, bronze, magnesium, zinc, etc.
  • chemical dusts such as coal, sulphur, etc.
  • pharmaceuticals
  • pesticides
  • rubber
  • wood
  • textiles
  • plastics

Manage risks in your workplace with a TEG Risk Assessment

A TEG Risk Assessment includes:

  • A combustible dust risk assessment aligned to AS/NZS 4745
  • A hazardous area classification completed by our certified engineers to AS/NZS 60079.10
  • A pre-classification review of your site before a formal hazardous area classification to identify how to reduce the number of and extent of zones and the compliance costs that may come out of a formal classification.
  • Awareness training for your staff so they can implement behaviours to minimise risks.
  • Specification and Design services to AS/NZS 60079.14 to ensure the electrical equipment that goes into hazardous areas will comply.

Why TEG Risk?

  • We are experts
    When it comes to safety engineering, TEG Risk is a cut above the rest.
    Our team is skilled in all aspects of workplace health & safety, as it related to machine safety and reliability, and combustible substances (AS/NZS Unit standards for explosive substances). Each one of our consultants holds the internationally-recognised TUV qualification along with extensive but specialist experience as it relates to machinery.
  • We are experienced
    We’ve seen it all before and we know exactly what works. As experts in planning, prioritisation and project management, we’ll suggest solutions that make the best use of your resources and budget.
  • We add value
    As independent consultants, we implement risk management solutions in your workplace while you continue with your business-as-usual operations. This keeps your ‘latent risk period’ to an absolute minimum.
  • We work as part of your team
    We tailor our processes and reporting to suit you. We spend time on the factory floor, talking to your operators and understanding your processes to deliver the exact solutions your company needs. We work efficiently and without disruption so that your workplace becomes compliant and safe as quickly as possible.

Protect your staff and business

Is it time to change the way you assess your workplace safety?