OSHA Combustible Dust Forum Scheduled for May 13

Posted May 4, 2011 at 4:26 pm

WASHINGTON, DC, May 4, 2011 – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has scheduled a forum for May 13 to consider possible regulatory options concerning combustible dust hazards in the workplace. Representatives from various industries, academia, research groups, insurance-underwriter organizations, labor and government will provide analysis of the issue.

The forum is scheduled for 9 a.m. at the office of the U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC. Limited space is available for nonparticipating observers. To register as a nonparticipating observer, contact Bill Hamilton at 202/693-2077 by Friday, May 6. General inquiries should be directed to Mat Chibbaro at 202/693-2382.

The purpose of the forum is to identify regulatory options that can both protect workers and minimize the costs to small- and medium-sized businesses working to reduce or prevent combustible dust hazards. After the meeting ends, a summary will be posted online at OSHA’s Combustible Dust website.

Combustible dusts include fine particles, fibers, chips, chunks, or flakes that, under certain conditions, can cause a fire or explosion when suspended in air. According to OSHA, nearly 150 workers have lost their lives and more than 850 were injured in combustible dust explosions since 1980. OSHA first initiated rulemaking to address combustible dust hazards in October 2009.