China China introduces regulations on combustible dust safety for industrial, trading companies

China’s Ministry of Emergency Management on July 25 issued the Regulations on Dust Explosion Safety for Industrial and Trading Companies (工贸企业粉尘防爆安全规定; the “Regulations”), which came into effect on September 1. The Regulations are based on the Production Safety Law (安全生产法), and have provisions on dust explosion safety measures as well as the responsibilities and supervision of companies in specific industries — including metallurgy, non-ferrous metals, construction materials, machine, light manufacturing, fiber, tobacco and commerce — and trading companies that generate explosive combustible dust.

“Combustible dust” in the Regulations refers to dust, fiber and fluff that can be intensely oxidized by gaseous oxidants (usually air) in the atmosphere. “Places with the risk of dust explosion” (粉尘爆炸危险场所) refer to places with combustible dust and gaseous oxidants (usually air). These places can be categorized into various types of dangerous areas according to the frequency and periods of explosions.

The Regulations oblige industrial companies generating combustible dust to meet the following requirements:

  • Companies must provide special education and trainings in production safety for their employees in charge of dust-generating operations as well as production processes, equipment and safety management related to dust and explosion prevention. Those who don’t pass the education or trainings may not work for the company.
  • Companies must meet the standards for and ensure smooth operation of safety devices that implement explosion venting, explosion isolation, explosion prevention, chemical inactivation, air locking, ash removal, impurity removal, monitoring, alerts, spark detection, etc.
  • Persons in charge must thoroughly clean areas where dust-generating operations are conducted.
  • Companies must avoid generating a large amount of dust and piling up closed bags of dust when disposing of dust of aluminum, magnesium and other metals as well as magnesium alloy waste. When companies need to store such dust temporarily, they must avoid crowded places, including workshops, for its storage and take necessary measures to prevent fires and explosions, such as the use of waterproof and dampproof materials, ventilation and hydrogen monitoring.

The Regulations also have provisions on inspections by government bodies and penalties.

The full text of the Regulations (in simplified Chinese) is available at
https://www.mem.gov.cn/gk/zfxxgkpt/fdzdgknr/202108/t20210802_394411.shtml