Posted On: May 14, 2009 by Steven J. Malman

Illinois Workers' Compensation Law Firm: Occupational Safety and Health Administration to Propose Combustible Dust Hazards-Related Rulemaking

OSHA is issuing an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on combustible dust dangers. This issue is important, considering that over 130 US workers have died and more than 780 others were hurt in work explosions involving combustible dust since 1980. Just last month, three workers sustained burn injuries from an Illinois work accident during a combustible dust blast at a pet food plant.

US Secretary of Labor says that many combustible dust explosion-related catastrophic injuries and deaths were preventable. This is why OSHA is now taking the steps to make sure that workers are protected while on the job.

Combustible Dust Blasts
Combustible dust can consist of wood, magnesium, paper, aluminum, coal, plastic, flour, rubber, sugar and other materials that have been finely ground into fine chips, fibers, flakes, particles, or chunks. These are the types of combustible dust that when suspended in air under certain conditions can cause an explosion or blast.

The force of impact from a combustible blast can kill people and destroy entire buildings. Industries where combustible blast hazards exist include those involving: pharmaceuticals, grain, plastics, tobacco, paper, wood, rubber, pulp, textiles, furniture, pesticides, coal, dyes, aluminum, magnesium, iron, chromium, zinc, and fossil fuel power generation.

In 2006, the US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board recommended that the federal government develop stricter combustible dust controls. The board said these tougher dust standards would save lives. It also encouraged OSHA to implement standards that the National Fire Protection Association had developed.

US Rep. George Miller (D-Calif) had also introduced a bill to force changes to be made to dust regulations. While his legislation passed in the US House in April 2008, the Senate did not act on it. He reintroduced the bill this year.

Our Chicago workers’ compensation law firm can make sure you receive all the benefits you are owed for your combustible dust blast injuries.

OSHA : Rulemaking on Combustible Dust Hazards, Powder and Bulk, May 12, 2009

OSHA moves to toughen combustible dust rules, Courier-Journal, May 10, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Combustible Dust, OSHA

House passes Combustible Dust protections, Union Review, April 30, 2008


In Will County, DuPage County, Cook County, and Lake County, contact the Law Offices of Steven J. Malman & Associates, PC today.

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