Friday, August 7, 2009

HazCom and Dust

An OSHA trade release on July 30, 2009 announces a new OSHA document discussing combustible dust hazards. The document, which is about 14 pages long discusses the necessity for manufacturer's and importer to evaluate the combustible dust hazard of their product. In part one section states "Regarding dusts and other particulates, a hazard evaluation must be conducted taking into consideration all discernible hazards, including that explosibility. It is incumbent upon manufacturers and importers to provide information on the potential for and control of combustible dusts." So if the manufactures are going to put this information on the MSDS, then you may need to cover this in your HazCom program. In fact you may find you do have a combustible dust hazard. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) identified 281 combustible dust incidents between 1980 and 2005 that led to the deaths of 119 workers, injured 718 and extensively damaged numerous industrial facilities.

Combustible dust is starting to take the forefront on some inspections and not only at grain elevators, but at a lot of manufacturering business. So check out your facility and pay close attention to dust buildup and have a good housekeeping program.

For more information on controling combustble dust, give us a call.


  1. Great post. Where can stakeholders find the web link to the 14 page OSHA trade release? Thanks

  2. You can find the trade release at the site, go to the letter "N" in the index, find the "news release" link, then scroll down to July 30 (about the 4th down under July) and you will find the link to the trade release. Also please feel free to email me at if you have more questions.

    Stay safe

  3. Thanks Eric. The trade release is a great resource. I have a concern that combustible dust related fires were not addressed in the document with emphasis solely on dust explosions. Over 80% of ComDust incidents in 2008 were combustible dust fires, precursors to eventual dust explosions.


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