K-State Research and Extension News
November 08, 2013
Share  Email the story

Combustible Dust Workshops Planned for Grain Handling, Processing Industry

Free training in Manhattan, Garden City and Scott City to increase awareness and reduce dust explosion hazards in grain handling and processing facilities.

 MANHATTAN, Kan. – One small spark is all it takes to damage a grain processing facility, bring productivity to a halt or even cause fatal accidents. To support the grain handling industry’s focus on providing employee training in preventing grain dust explosions, Kansas State University’s Department of Grain Science and Industry is offering three interactive grain dust explosion training workshops. Two of the workshops will be conducted in English and one in Spanish.

Dates, times and locations for the four-hour workshops are:

  • Dec. 11, 2013 - 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. – (in English) - Manhattan - International Grains Program Conference Center, 1980 Kimball Ave.;
  • Jan. 15, 2014 – 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – (in English) - Garden City – Southwest Research-Extension Center, 4500 E. Mary St.;
  • Jan. 15, 2014 – 4:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. – (in Spanish) - Scott City – Bryan Conference Center, 416 S. Main St.

The grain handling industry is required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to train employees about how to prevent grain dust explosions. These workshops will create awareness regarding grain dust explosion hazards among workers and supervisors, said project leader and K-State assistant grain science professor, Kingsly Ambrose. The workshops, along with handouts and lecture materials are offered free of charge to participants.

The initiative is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor – OSHA.

“It is important to educate supervisors and managers on training their employees using best practices to curtail the risk of dust explosions,” said grain science department head Dirk Maier. “These workshops communicate the practical risk information on dust hazards to mitigate fatalities and loss in grain handling and processing facilities.”

Grain dust explosions are caused by five factors: powder-fine grain dust, confinement of dust in an enclosed space, dust dispersion, an ignition source, and oxygen. While quite rare, they do happen, causing damage to lives, facilities and communities. Reducing combustible dust, keeping it out of the air and controlling ignition sources significantly reduce the number and extent of grain dust explosions.

“Through delivery by K-State faculty members, hands-on activities and an explosion demonstration, the workshop will provide awareness, understanding and motivation to reduce the number of explosions and their impact,” Ambrose said.

 Online registration for the workshops is available at www.grains.k-state.edu/igp/ . More information is also available by contacting Ambrose at graindust@k-state.edu or 785-532-4091.



K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.

Story by: Mary Lou Peter
K-State Research & Extension News

Kingsly Ambrose – 785-532-4091 or graindust@k-state.edu