As the tally rises to thirteen combustible dust related fires and explosions since the Dixie Crystal sugar refinery explosion, legislators, labor leaders, and governmental officials are at odds with each other whether a comprehensive combustible dust standard is needed for general industry across a wide spectrum of business's that generate combustible dust hazards.
MONMOUTH -- Grain dust is the likely fuel of an explosion at a Monmouth pet-food factory Tuesday that injured one person. The explosion happened at 4:14 p.m. at a tower that Wells Pet Food Co. uses to store grain for its products, said Monmouth Assistant Fire Chief Patrick Spears.
Just as there are dozens of earthquakes around the world on a weekly basis, only a handful of tremors gain notice when they strike populated areas. Which can be compared to the numerous unnoticed combustible fires and explosions that have occurred in the United States since the highly publicized Dixie Crystal, Port Wentworth sugar refinery incident on the serene banks of the Savannah River.
At the moment, with a heavily touted electoral process thrusted upon the national stage, which includes issues of immigration, the war in Iraq, health care, education, taxes, and such. Consequently, the importance of a productive workplace which includes health and safety standards amongst the nation's work force and electorate ranks way far below same-sex marriage.
The OSHA Act, which became law in 1970 has reduced work place fatalities and injuries tremendously but has a way to go before it's austere goals are obtained. Especially when at the end of the workday tomorrow, on an average, fifteen of your loved ones will not return home from at the end of the day.
Either a messy confrontation will ensue when legislators are polarized across party lines in debating whether a comprehensive combustible dust standard is needed. Or in contrast, the electorate can personally get involved, making phone calls , sending emails, and organizing at the grassroots level with the goal in mind that combustible dust explosions and fires in the nations workplace are no longer acceptable.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008