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What Employers Need to Know About OSHA and Combustible Dust
Although the understanding of the hazards of combustible dust has developed over the last decades, it remains an elusive and complex subject to both regulators and employers. Combustible dust hazards can be present in a broad spectrum of industries, including the food (e.g., candy, sugar, spice, starch, flour, feed), grain, tobacco, plastics, wood, paper, pulp, rubber, pesticide, pharmaceutical, dyes, coal, and metals (e.g., aluminum, chromium, iron, magnesium, and zinc) industries. Although OSHA does not have a specific standard for general industry regulating combustible dust (OSHA’s standard is limited to grain handling facilities), it does have a National Emphasis Program (NEP) on the hazard, which it uses regularly to inspect certain facilities and issue citations under the General Duty Clause. Additionally, as one of its Drivers of Critical Chemical Safety Change, combustible dust hazards are one of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board’s (CSB’s) top advocacy priorities, prompting the CSB to initiate investigations and, if it deems them appropriate, issue recommendations to employers (among others) and publicize reports detailing the cause of combustible dust incidents.

To mitigate the risk of potentially catastrophic incidents and avoid citations from OSHA and/or recommendations from the CSB, employers with dusts that may be combustible are well-advised to proactively address any associated hazards they may have in their facilities.

Participants in this webinar will learn:

• Background on the hazard
• CSB findings and investigations
• OSHA’s Combustible Dust NEP
• Applicable NFPA standards
• Employer best practice tips

Dec 7, 2023 01:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Kathryn M. McMahon
Partner, OSHA • Workplace Safety Practice Group, Conn Maciel Carey LLP
Kathryn M. McMahon is a partner in the national OSHA • Workplace Safety Practice Group of Conn Maciel Carey LLP. She focuses her practice in the areas of occupational safety and health (OSHA) law and environmental law. Ms. McMahon helps clients manage incident and fatality inspections, and litigation related to alleged violations by federal OSHA and state OSHA programs. She also represents industry stakeholders in all aspects of OSHA rulemaking, including proposed rules regarding silica, injury and illness recordkeeping, hexavalent chromium, and beryllium, among others.
Beeta B. Lashkari
Associate, Labor • Employment and OSHA • Workplace Safety Practice Groups, Conn Maciel Carey LLP
Beeta B. Lashkari is an associate in the Washington, DC office of Conn Maciel Carey LLP working in the OSHA practice group. Ms. Lashkari is a former Attorney-Advisor at the Chemical Safety Board (CSB), and advises and represents clients in a wide-range of inspections, investigations, and enforcement actions. Additionally, Ms. Lashkari manages workplace investigations by OSHA, CSB, EPA, and other state/local regulators, defending employers, as well as counseling clients, developing/reviewing safety policies, and providing compliance advice on myriad legal issues employers face in the workplace.
Anthony M. Casaletta
Of Counsel, OSHA • Workplace Safety Practice Group, Conn Maciel Carey LLP
Anthony M. Casaletta is Of Counsel with Conn Maciel Carey LLP, working in the Detroit area, where he provides the full range of workplace safety and health law services to employers in Michigan and around the country.Mr. Casaletta counsels and defends employers across a diverse range of industries in a wide variety of workplace health and safety matters involving Federal OSHA and State OSH Plans, particularly the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“MIOSHA”). He supports clients in all aspects of enforcement actions involving OSHA agencies, from managing on-site inspections and investigations, to litigating contested OSHA citations, and counseling on compliance with OSHA enforcement rules and standards. Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Casaletta spent 18 years with Michigan OSHA in various roles, working his way up to Health Supervisor for the MIOSHA Construction Safety and Health Division.