OSHA Adds Industries to Combustible Dust Program
A number of industries have been added to OSHA’s combustible dust national emphasis program.
Agency officials announced the revised program Jan. 27, 2023 in an effort to continue OSHA inspections at facilities that generate or handle combustible dusts likely to cause fire, flash fire, deflagration, and explosion hazards.
The revised program replaces the directive issued in March 2008.
That directive was issued in response to an explosion in a Georgia sugar refinery which killed 14 and injured 78.
The horrific incident served as a reminder of the dangers of combustible dust.
Any combustible material can burn rapidly when in a finely divided form.
If such a dust is suspended in air in the right concentration, under certain conditions, it can become explosible.
Even materials that do not burn in larger pieces (aluminum or iron), given the proper conditions, can be explosible in dust form.
The agency has conducted about 600 inspections annually under the emphasis program since 2007.
The national emphasis program was revised based on enforcement history and combustible dust incident reports.
In 2018, wood and food products made up an average of 70% of the materials involved in combustible dust fires and explosions.
Incident reports indicate the majority of the industries involved in combustible dust hazards are wood processing, agricultural and food production, and lumber production, but others are susceptible as well.
The revised program sets forth a new approach for locating and inspecting subject establishments.
The program adds the following industries to the program:
- 311812: Commercial Bakeries
- 325910: Printing Ink Manufacturing
- 321912: Cut Stock, Resawing Lumber, and Planning
- 316110: Leather and Hide Tanning and Finishing
- 321214: Truss Manufacturing
- 424510: Grain and Field Bean Merchant Wholesalers
The revised directive does not replace OSHA’s grain handling facility directive, but may cover operations involving grain processing that are outside the scope of the grain handling directive.
For more information, contact CBIA’s Phillip Montgomery (860.244.1982).
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