Give Us Combustible Dust Standards - Stop The Insanity

  • by: USMWF
  • recipient: OSHA & Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao
"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting new results" Albert Einstein

In a 25 year span 119 workers have been killed and more than 700 injured in  combustible dust explosions. The CSB has fought long and hard to gain regulations for combustible dust with no real response from OSHA.

Former CSB Chairman Carolyn W. Merritt stated, "Combustible dust fires and explosions are devastating, preventable, and often fatal tragedies. Dust explosions often cause loss of life and terrible economic consequences. While some programs to mitigate dust hazards exist at the state and local levels, they form a patchwork of adapted and adopted voluntary standards that are challenging to enforce. New federal standards are necessary to prevent further loss of life."

Combustible Dust Hazard Investigation
(U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board
Combustible Dust Hazard Final Report (pdf)

Oct. 19, 2007 OSHA announced a combustible dust safety programm. The instructions are available electronically on OSHA's Web site. OSHA mostly based it's instruction on the on CSB's studies and NFPA standards and codes some of which came out of the CSB investigations. 

Former CSB Chairman Carolyn W. Merritt also explains, "The problem with voluntary standards is not every one volunteers."

Again we see a preventable tragic event at the  Imperial Sugar refinery, formerly the Dixie Crystal, that has killed and maimed our families.

Gruesome details emerge not even 48hours later, a scene many will not soon forget.
saw people come running out burnt, screaming, hollering, their skin hanging off them, said Jason Perry, who hurried to the plant after the blast to search for an uncle who was working that night. One lady hit the ground, and then the medical was on her so fast you couldn't see what was going on.

What do We want?  We want the insanity to stop! 

We want OSHA to issue comprehensive combustible dust standards and we fully back the Committee on Education and Labor  in their request to Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao for answers and action based on the CBS investigations and recommendations.
We the undersigned are writing in request of a federal combustible dust standard.

It is understood that OSHA has released a bulletin Titled "Combustible Dust in Industry: Preventing and Mitigating the Effects of Fire and Explosions"  Before the safety instruction or even it's purpose it  announces that "This Safety and Health Information Bulletin is not a standard or regulation, and it creates no new legal obligations." No Legal Obligations.

It is well known that OSHA is aware of the issues surrounding combustible dust and have done little to combat this issue, companies will not voluntarily comply with this bulletin as we have seen in the recent Imperial Sugar explosion.  In 2003 three such explosions occurred each with their own devastating effects.

For some of the undersigned it is far too late but there are sill parents, spouses, siblings and children to be saved. Please protect our families, allow them  peace of mind and a way home every nights.  Give them the right to a safe and healthful workplace free from this recognized hazard!

Thank you for your time and compassion.
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