On May 13, 2011, OSHA held an Expert Forum on Combustible Dust to discuss possible options for developing a comprehensive rule to address the hazards associated with combustible dust.  OSHA’s stated intent was to both protect employees and be cost-effective for employers. The major topics for discussion included: Scope; Focus on Preventing Secondary Explosions; Existing Facilities; and Multiple Layers of Protection. The meeting was divided into these four topics for discussion, and OSHA posed questions from each to the panel of experts. Below are the highlights from the meeting.

Continue reading “Summary of OSHA Combustible Dust Forum”

The engineers here at CTI have had great success over the past several years in reducing risks associated with combustible dust fires and explosions.  Much of our work has focused on hazard analysis, design of fire and explosion prevention and protection systems, and safety procedures and training.  But there is another field we have been working on that I feel is worth discussing – mechanical design of equipment and processes to eliminate fugitive dust.

Continue reading “Reducing Fugitive Dust Emissions from Process Equipment”

Brian Edwards, PE of Conversion Technology, Inc. will be a trainer at the Understanding Combustible Dust Seminar presented by Lewellyn Technology on April 12, 2011. Brian will be discussing the science behind combustible dust incidents, along with fire and explosion prevention and protection. Visit www.safedust.com for details on how to register. To learn more about CTI’s consulting services, please visit: Combustible Dust Safety.

Other presenters will include:

Kevin Jeffries, CEAS – Corporate Safety Systems Manager at Imperial Sugar Co.
Scott Margolin – International Technical Director at Westex, Inc.

 

 

Georgia has created a new rule that will affect a multitude of facilities across the state.  The Georgia Safety Fire Commissioner has enacted Chapter 120-3-24: Rules and Regulations for Loss Prevention Due to Combustible Dust Explosion and Fire, and these rules have an effective date of March 9, 2010.  These rules were specifically made by the State of Georgia to regulate combustible dust in response to the Imperial Sugar tragedy in Port Wentworth, GA that claimed the lives of 14 people and injured many more.

Continue reading “New GA Combustible Dust Rule Effective March 9, 2010”

In late 2009, OSHA released an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) for combustible dust hazards, investigating regulatory methods of reducing the hazards associated with combustible dust at industrial facilities. In December 2009, stakeholder meetings were held in Washington, D.C. to allow industry’s voice to be heard on the issue. Now OSHA has set January 19, 2010 as the date by which all comments from interested or affected parties need to be submitted. All of these steps point to the fact that OSHA continues to progress in the rulemaking process, and the completion of formal regulations is not far away.

Even though this rulemaking process is incomplete, OSHA is already taking enforcement steps based on the Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program (NEP), which was reissued in March 2008 and is concerned with facilities at which combustible dust is likely to pose a hazard. OSHA officials are currently performing inspections to enforce this NEP, and nationally nearly 4,000 violations have already been issued during over 800 inspections. Therefore, industrial facilities do not have the option of passively waiting until OSHA rulemaking is finalized to take steps toward compliance. To ensure facility safety, as well as avoid costly fines, facilities should work to identify and eliminate combustible dust hazards as soon as possible. Continue reading “Safety Alert: Combustible Dust”

Over the past year, OSHA has been acting under a National Emphasis Program (NEP) to address combustible dust hazards at facilities. This NEP identifies the industries where combustible dust may be present and establishes an inspection schedule for these facilities. In August 2009, OSHA will issue an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for combustible dust hazards where the Administration will begin evaluating the regulatory methods for reducing the hazards from combustible dust.

Continue reading “Safety Alert: OSHA is Not Waiting on the Combustible Dust Rule to Issue Citations”