Monday, March 25, 2013

Proposed Combustible Dust Bill Relationship to OSHA Regulations

Proposed Combustible Dust Legislation H.R. 691,Worker Protection Against Combustible Dust Explosions and Fires Act of 2013. Presentation illustrates relationship of proposed combustible dust bill with OSHA regulations. Approximately 40% of the requirements are mirrored from content in the OSHA Fire Prevention Plan 1910.39 in addition to approximately 50% of content analogous to OSHA's Process Safety Management 1910.119 regulations.

Many of the NFPA combustible dust standards also include elements of Process Safety Management (PSM) such as management of change (MOC), accident investigations, contractor training, etc. Additionally elements in the requirements of the proposed bill include: Hazard Assessment 1910.132, Hazard Communication (HazCom) 1910.1200, Process Safety Management (PSM) 1910.119, Lock-out/Tag-out (LOTO)1910.147, and Hot Work 190.252.

The proposed reintroduced legislation fails to address in the "findings" the importance of training, education, outreach, inspections, and enforcement at the local jurisdictional level with the I-Codes such as the International Building Code and International Fire Code which reference the NFPA combustible dust standards. There exponentially  more local building and fire inspectors conducting plan review, permit approval, and inspections than the limited resources of OSHA inspectors working out of distant area offices. Fires can never be effectively regulated at the federal level since fire prevention and protection is a local issue. A cohesive collaboration between local, state, and federal agencies would be a equitable solution in addressing the contentious and complex subject of combustible dust fire and explosion hazards in H-2 High-Hazard occupancies which appear to many as benign deflagration hazards with the continued occurrence of "near misses" throughout all sectors

YouTube video on slide #2 is Representative George Miller (D), Chairman of the Education and Labor Committee, making a statement during floor debate on HR 5522, the Worker Protection Against Combustible Dust Explosions and Fires Act, on April 30, 2008. The bill passed in the House of Representatives April 30, 2008, 6:56 p.m. with a 247/165 simple majority vote but was never passed by the Senate.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Another of the political grandstanding actions on Capitol Hill that has no chance of passage and was written by people who don't understand the issues.


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