In a settlement with OSHA, Imperial Sugar agreed to pay $6 million for health and safety violations and to improve worker safety practices at its Port Wentworth, Ga., and Gramercy, La., plants. The fines were for 124 violations at the Georgia plant and 97 at the Louisiana facility. OSHA focused on the two facilities after a February 2008 combustible-dust explosion at the Georgia plant killed 14 workers and injured scores of others. The accident led to congressional hearings and a Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board investigation that found that “snow-like accumulations” of combustible dust in the plant triggered the deadly explosion. Even before the Imperial blast, however, CSB had warned of the dangers of industrial dust. It found 281 industrial dust accidents occurred between 1980 and 2005, killing 119 workers and injuring 718. The board recommended in 2006 that OSHA begin a program to specifically regulate combustible dust in the workplace, but OSHA refused. The agency reversed course last year and began the process to regulate industrial dust.