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Dust Explosion Rules Considered

Dust Explosion Rules Considered: Deadly Dust Explosions Remain a Problem

The United States Chemical Safety Board will be conducting a public meeting this week, during which it will consider the selection of its first-ever “Most Wanted Chemical Safety Improvement.” At the same meeting, they also plan to put up for consideration whether or not the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has properly implemented a number of regulatory recommendations that were issued by CSB.

The CSB board plans to consider designating a combustible dust standard as the agency’s first “Most Wanted Safety Improvement.” What that means is, the agency will determine that such dust is a crucial safety hazard, and plans to intensify advocacy efforts.

But they plan to start the morning session by considering whether or not to designate three of seven recommendations made to OSHA regarding combustible dust as “Open-Unacceptable Response,” which means they consider OSHA’s implementation of these recommendations to be inadequate.

The three recommendations under consideration are:

  • Recommendation No. 2001-05-I-DE-R1, issued pursuant to CSB’s investigation of the July 2001 atmospheric tank explosion at the Motiva refinery in Delaware City, Del., calls on OSHA to ensure coverage under the Process Safety Management standard, 29 CFR 1910.119, for atmospheric storage tanks that could be involved in a potential catastrophic release as a result of being interconnected to a covered process with 10,000 pounds of a flammable substance.
  • Recommendation No. 2005-4-I-TX-R9, issued pursuant to CSB’s investigation of the March 2005 explosions and fire at the BP Texas City, Texas, refinery, calls on OSHA to amend the PSM standard by requiring management of change reviews to be conducted for organizational changes (e.g., mergers and acquisitions) that may impact process safety.
  • Recommendation No. 2005-4-I-TX-UR1, issued pursuant to CSB’s investigations of the June 2009 explosion and roof collapse at the ConAgra SlimJim facility in Garner, N.C., and the February 2010 explosion at the Kleen Energy power plant in Middletown, Conn., calls on OSHA to issue a fuel gas safety standard for construction and general industry.

The hearing is free and open to the public, and audience members will have a chance to ask questions and make comments.  Those affected by dust explosions are encouraged to attend to discuss the dangers of dust explosions.

Chemical Explosions, Personal Injury, Plant Explosions, Workplace Safety