Combustible dust
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CSB renews call for combustible dust standard

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Photo: Chemical Safety Board

East Rutherford, NJ – The Chemical Safety Board has reiterated its call for OSHA to promulgate a comprehensive combustible dust standard.

The call was prompted by an investigation of a flash fire that injured seven workers at a New Jersey facility in 2012. CSB Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso and investigation supervisor Johnnie Banks said the incident on Oct. 9, 2012, at a U.S. Ink plant resulted from a poorly designed dust-collection system. Banks said only one day passed before the facility’s air ducts accumulated enough combustible dust and hydrocarbons to overheat, ignite and cause an explosion that resulted in the flash fire.

Moure-Eraso said the incident carries far-reaching implications. A national combustible dust standard would “go far in preventing these dust explosions,” he said in a press release.

Moure-Eraso also reiterated CSB’s recommendation that OSHA broaden the industries covered by its National Emphasis Program on mitigating dust hazards to include printing ink manufacturers.

“Although OSHA’s investigation of this accident deemed it a combustible dust explosion, it did not issue any dust-related citations, doubtless hampered by the fact that there is no comprehensive combustible dust regulatory standard,” Moure-Eraso said.