Phil Parsons on Combustible Dust Hazards

dust explosion example
Dust Explosion Test at BakerRisk Test Facility

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Combustible Dust

OSHA recently issued a combustible dust citation to Didion Milling with a proposed penalty of over $1.8MM after a dust explosion at the company’s facility claimed 5 lives. OSHA’s recent combustible dust enforcement action, as well as the anticipated Senate confirmation of a new OSHA head, leads me to believe that there may be an increased likelihood of OSHA compliance officers performing more  unannounced site inspections focused specifically on the hazards of combustible dust. Your company and its facilities should not be caught by surprise.  Please let me know if you would like to learn more about BakerRisk’s combustible dust hazards analysis (DHA) services, and how they can help you be prepared.

Myself and other BakerRisk staff are committee members on the relevant NFPA standards, including NFPA 652 (Standard on the Fundamentals of Combustible Dust, 2016 Ed.), which makes us fully versed in the NFPA’s prescriptive requirements. In an investigation of combustible dust hazards, a focal point for OSHA compliance officers will be to determine whether the site employer has performed a DHA as prescribed by NFPA 652.  OSHA uses NFPA’s combustible dust standards as reference points to identify “recognized” combustible dust fire and explosion hazards that are subject to an enforcement action under OSHA’s general duty clause.

Please do not hesitate to contact me so we can discuss how BakerRisk may be able to assist you in minimizing the impact of a possible OSHA combustible dust inspection.

Click here to view our brief Safety Moment Video on on combustible dust hazards.

Phil Parsons
Phil Parsons
Senior Engineer
Combustible Dust Subject Matter Expert at BakerRisk®

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