The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a revised Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program to continue OSHA inspections of facilities that generate or handle combustible dusts likely to cause fire, flash fire, deflagration and explosion hazards. The NEP was revised based on enforcement history and combustible dust incident reports and sets forth a new approach for locating and inspecting subject establishments. In 2018, wood and food products made up an average of 70 percent of the materials involved in combustible dust fires and explosions. Incident reports indicate that the majority of the industries involved in combustible dust hazards are wood processing, agricultural and food production and lumber production, but others are susceptible as well.
The revised program also adds the following industries to the program because OSHA found they had a higher likelihood of having combustible dust hazards or experienced combustible dust-related fatalities/catastrophes:
- 311812 – Commercial Bakeries
- 325910 – Printing Ink Manufacturing
- 321912 – Cut Stock, Resawing Lumber, and Planning
- 316110 – Leather and Hide Tanning and Finishing
- 321214 – Truss Manufacturing
- 424510 – Grain and Field Bean Merchant Wholesalers
This revised NEP replaces the March 2008 directive and remains in effect until OSHA issues a cancellation notice. It does not replace another similar OSHA directive referred to as the grain handling facility directive but it may cover operations involving grain processing that are outside the scope of the grain handling directive.
For more information, see the press release or visit osha.gov/combustible-dust.