OSHA Begins Process To Regulate Dust | November 2, 2009 Issue - Vol. 87 Issue 44 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 87 Issue 44 | p. 22 | Concentrates
Issue Date: November 2, 2009

OSHA Begins Process To Regulate Dust

Department: Government & Policy
Keywords: Explosions, Safety

OSHA has published an advanced notice of proposed rule-making to formally regulate combustible dust in the workplace. The need for a comprehensive national regulation for combustible and explosive dust has been growing for years. A 2006 study by the Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board found 281 U.S. industrial dust accidents over a 25-year period, resulting in 119 worker deaths and 718 injuries. A national regulation would affect chemical companies and a wide range of other industries whose operations generate fine, explosive material (C&EN, Sept. 28, page 12). Labor unions have been pushing OSHA to move quickly on the regulation. "This notice is an important first step on the way to a permanent rule," says Jackie Nowell, occupational safety and health director of the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union. Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) also applauds the action, calling it a "breath of fresh air after years of foot-dragging by the previous Administration." Last year, the House passed legislation ordering OSHA to issue dust regulations, and this past February, Miller and other House members reintroduced similar legislation.

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