Combustible Dust

ACMA's Government Affairs Committee (GAC) manages industy efforts to ensure OSHA develops a starndard that is feasible for composites manufacturers while providing sufficient protection for employeses.

While OSHA works to develop a proposed rule, composite manufacturers and other employers with dust generating operations are required under OSHA's Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program (NEP) to comply with the applicable provisions of NFPA 654, the standard for prevention of fires and explosions from combustible particulate solids. 

OSHA reported in a recent newsletter that more than 130 workers have been killed and more than 780 injured in combustible dust explosions.  According to a Jan. 26, 2010 OSHA release, a Connecticut-based manufacturer of composite manhole covers faced a total of $90,500 in proposed fines, chiefly for potential fire and explosion hazards. "OSHA's inspection found that combustible particulate solids, which were generated during trimming and repair operations, were not collected into an adequately designed dust collection system, were allowed to accumulate on machinery and surfaces, and were not adequately cleaned up to prevent such buildup", according to the release. "The combustible material was exposed to several potential ignition sources, including an LP gas-powered industrial truck, exposed wiring and a spark producing tool."

OSHA's Spring 2013 regulatory agenda states that in 2013 OSHA will convene small business review panels for its combustible dust standard rulemaking.