Combustible dust

Dust explosion in China illustrates need for OSHA standard, CSB chief says

Washington – A deadly metal dust explosion in China offers a fresh reminder of combustible dust hazards, which the United States should address through an OSHA standard, Chemical Safety Board Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso said in a statement released Aug. 5.

According to media reports, the Aug. 2 dust explosion at a car parts factory in China killed as many as 70 people and injured nearly 200.

CSB has continually called on OSHA to promulgate a general industry dust standard since CSB’s in-depth 2006 investigation into the hazard. In 2013, CSB named a combustible dust standard as its first-ever Most Wanted Safety Improvement, and a June report investigating a West Virginia metal dust explosion renewed the agency’s push for an OSHA standard.

“The CSB believes it is imperative for OSHA to issue a comprehensive combustible dust standard for general industry with clear requirements for preventing dust fires and explosions,” Moure-Eraso said in his statement.

OSHA has been pursuing a combustible dust standard since at least 2009. The agency is scheduled to initiate a Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act review of its proposal by the end of the year.