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Food and Agriculture Industry Risk Mitigation

Mitigate fire and explosion risks at your facility


When it comes to industries such as food, grain, beverages and agriculture, proactive risk mitigation is critical in ensuring that safety and operability are upheld. The grain handling industry, in particular, is considered a high hazard industry, where a variety of risks such as fires, explosions, falls, and other factors can threaten employee safety.

In addition to safety risks, the food, grain and agriculture industries face a wide variety of risks which can pose threats to their personnel, operations, and supply chains:

  • Market Risk: Results from uncertainties regarding the prices that producers could receive for crops or other products.
  • Production Risk: Results from natural factors and processes of livestock and crops. Factors such as disease, pests and the weather can affect quality and quality of a product.
  • Institutional Risk: Results from government actions and mandates, and the uncertainties that laws can pose.
  • Personnel Risk: As mentioned above, this relates to health, safety, and human-element risks that can arise during production or processes. Accidents, fires and other unforeseen events can pose hazards in this industry.


One of the earlier-recorded combustible dust explosions in history occurred in 1878 at the Washburn Mill, which produced flour for a major milling company. The blast, caused by a buildup of flour dust, killed 18 people and destroyed neighboring mills, and city blocks. This incident brought the dangers of combustible dust to light and prompted better safety and ventilation systems in factories.

A more recent case involving combustible dust occurred in 2008 at a major sugar refinery. Due to oversight of safety and housekeeping standards, a large amount of combustible sugar dust caught fire, rapidly spreading through the entire facility. The explosion resulted in 14 deaths, 38 injuries, and destroyed the plant. The refinery was cited with 124 safety violations and posted a $15.5 million loss, primarily due to the explosion.


In addition to the experiences gained by working closely with our clients, TÜV SÜD Global Risk Consultants (GRC) staff work to identify the unique hazards and challenges faced within the industry and develop cost effective solutions to manage risk.

From these clients and conferences, we are very familiar with the inherent risks associated with this industry and are particularly experienced in the following processes:

  • Beef and Poultry
  • Slaughter
  • Biodiesel
  • Cocoa Processing
  • Distilling/Breweries
  • Dry Milling Operations
  • Feed Mills
  • Flour Mill Operations
  • Food Processing
  • Fuel Ethanol Production
  • Fertilizer
  • Grain Elevators
  • Grain Shipping
  • Hatcheries
  • Malting Operations
  • Meat Processing
  • Packaging/Bottling/Distribution
  • Refrigerated and Ambient Warehousing and Distribution
  • Solvent Extraction
  • Sugar Refining
  • Vegetable Oil Refining
  • Wet Corn Milling

TÜV SÜD GRC offers a variety of services designed to help mitigate risks in the food, grain, beverage and agriculture industries:

Combustible Dust Mitigation and DHA: A Dust Hazard Analysis (DHA) is designed to protect your facility against combustible dust hazards and is a requirement under several standards. TÜV SÜD GRC experts are licensed and experienced Process Safety Management professionals whose knowledge is specifically related to providing the most up-to-date and thorough dust assessments of your facility.

Business Continuity Planning: Identifying business interruption risk, quantifying the potential impact to your company, developing mitigation strategies, and preplanning for a disaster are the keys to risk management. Our experts will use our knowledge of your company, industry, equipment, production bottlenecks, and exposures as the key components of the BCP process and work to help you foresee and mitigate market and supply chain risks.

Fire Protection Engineering: Managing fire and explosion risks is a critical component of any property risk management program for protecting personnel, facility assets, supply chain and market share. Our engineers and account managers work with the client to learn more about their unique businesses and needs. Each fire protection program is uniquely tailored to the client’s facilities, safety protocols, employees, and specific industry standards and product compliance needs.


TÜV SÜD Global Risk Consultants (GRC) is the leading unbundled property loss control provider worldwide, offering a complete portfolio of risk management solutions, including operational, natural hazard and business continuity planning. With a focus on developing long-term partnerships, TÜV SÜD GRC provides innovative solutions to help our clients continuously reduce the risk to their business.

TÜV SÜD GRC’s approach to providing risk control services incorporates a formal team structure, ensuring established goals are met as well as effectively addressing local and corporate needs.

The team is supervised by an Account Service Leader, who provides a single point of contact, and Technical Account Engineers. The Food and Grain industry is a main area of focus for TÜV SÜD GRC, and developments in this industry are overseen by an internal focus group who are dedicated to providing the best solutions for your business.

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Guide to Combustible Dust Safety and Compliance
White paper

Guide to Combustible Dust Safety and Compliance

Learn more about Dust Hazard Analysis and NFPA 652 compliance

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Overview of Combustible Dust Hazard Mitigation

Combustible Dust Hazard Mitigation

Learn more about the benefits of implementing a DHA for mitigating risk

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NFPA 652 Infographic

NFPA 652 Update

In a recent update to NFPA 652, a DHA will be required for existing processes and facilities by September 2020.

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Food and Health Essentials

Food and Health Essentials

Ensure quality, safety and reliability in the food industry

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Middle East and Africa