Miller reintroduces combustible dust bill

February 10, 2011

Washington – A bill that would direct OSHA to promulgate a general industry combustible dust standard was reintroduced in the House on Feb. 8.

Although OSHA is working on a combustible dust standard, the Worker Protection Against Combustible Dust Explosions and Fires Act (H.R. 522) would expedite the process, according to bill sponsor Rep. George Miller (D-CA).

“Because of red tape, workers won’t be fully protected from these explosions for many years,” Miller said in a press release. “Regulatory delays should never be an excuse not to protect workers from a preventable tragedy.”

If passed, the bill would streamline OSHA’s process for issuing an interim standard and require the agency to issue an interim combustible dust standard within a year and a final standard within 18 months.

The bill was introduced in two other Congresses, the first shortly after the February 2008 Imperial Sugar dust explosion in Georgia that killed 14 workers. That bill passed in the House, but stalled in the Senate. In the last Congress, the bill never made it out of its House committee.