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Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is initiating a comprehensive rulemaking on combustible dust.
OSHA Reviews Industrial Dust- 5/1/2009
OSHA will issue an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and convene related stakeholder meetings to evaluate possible regulatory methods, and request data and comments on issues related to combustible dust such as hazard recognition, assessment, communication, defining combustible dust and other concerns.
Since 1980, more than 130 workers have been killed and more than 780 injured in combustible dust explosions. Combustible dusts are solids finely ground into fine particles, fibers, chips, chunks or flakes that can cause a fire or explosion when suspended in air under certain conditions. Types of dusts include metal (aluminum and magnesium), wood, plastic or rubber, coal, flour, sugar and paper, among others.
"Over the years, combustible dust explosions have caused many deaths and devastating injuries that could have been prevented," says Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "OSHA is reinvigorating the regulatory process to ensure workers receive the protection they need while also ensuring that employers have the tools needed to make their workplaces safer."
More information about combustible dust is available here.