I spoke to an OSHA rulemaker who is working on the long-storied Combustible Dust Safety Rule that has been in the works for over 2 years now (Link to CTI’s Blog on the ANPR). The latest news I was told is that the proposed rule is scheduled to move to a Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) review panel in December of 2011.
PH Haroz and Brian Edwards, PE of CTI have written an article for the American Society of Safety Engineers’ newsletter Safely Made on the status of OSHA’s Combustible Dust Rule-making and on methods to reduce the risk associate with combustible dust. A copy of this article is available on our website for download here: http://www.conversiontechnology.com/brochures/SafelyMade_V03N01_CTI.pdf
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.
OSHA is holding an Expert Forum to identify regulatory options for addressing combustible dust hazards. The meeting will be May 13th, 2011 in OSHA’s home office in Washington DC. CTI will be present for this meeting and we will prepare a summary describing what transpires.
To view the OSHA news release, follow this link: http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=19710
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.
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:
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.
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.
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