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