The Combustible Dust Policy Institute found through researching media accounts in 2008 that over 150+ combustible dust related fires and explosions occurred in the manufacturing, non-manufacturing and utility sectors in the
The current OSHA Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program (NEP) directive does not address the majority of national industries (NAICS) where incidents are frequently occurring. For example, over 60% of incidents in 2008 occurred in national industries not listed in Appendix D-1 and D-2 of the
To further complicate the situation, the Chemical Safety Board Combustible Dust Hazard Study did not include in the profile of affected industries, the Paper, Textile, and Non-Manufacturing subsectors as industries where a combustible dust hazard exists. For example, in 2008, over 22% of incidents occurred in these subsectors. Without this important information, OSHA did not include paper national industries in the
In contrast, over 7% of incidents in 2008 occurred in the rubber/plastics subsector, where these national industries were referenced 90% of the time in the OSHA Dust
For 2008, media accounts of combustible dust related fires and explosions occurred in thirty-six states. The states with 10 more or more incidents included
Reviewing the the grain sector, through media accounts, over 50 combustible dust related fires and explosions occurred in 2008 with over 30% (15) were dust explosions. The adverse economic impact from dust explosions in this sector was much greater than the economic impact from explosions in the manufacturing sector. A question does arise if it makes good sense to model the current pending combustible dust legislation after the OSHA Grain Facility Standard, when so many injuries and economic damage is occurring from dust explosions similar to what’s happening in the manufacturing sector?
This brief overview of combustible dust related incidents in 2008 will hopefully provide all stakeholders additional insight into the complexity of combustible dust hazards in the workplace. The current occupational health and safety regulatory framework does not currently address the magnitude of the problem that encompasses all the national industries where incidents are repeatedly occurring throughout the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sector.