Accident: Combustible Dust Hazard Investigation
Location: Location: Washington, DC
Accident Occurred On: 10/01/2004 | Final Report Released On: 11/09/2006
Accident Type: Combustible Dust Explosion and Fire
Investigation Status: The CSB issued its final report at a public meeting in Washington, DC, on November 9, 2006, calling for a new OSHA regulatory standard designed to prevent combustible dust fires and explosions.
In 2003, the CSB launched investigations of three major industrial explosions involving combustible powders. These explosions - in North Carolina, Kentucky, and Indiana - cost 14 lives and caused numerous injuries and substantial property losses. The Board responded by launching a nationwide study to determine the scope of the problem and recommend new safety measures for facilities that handle combustible powders.
Modify ANSI Z400.1 American National Standard for Hazardous Industrial Chemicals--Material Safety Data Sheets to recommend that MSDSs include information on: - combustible dust hazards, safe handling practices, and references to relevant fire codes in MSDS; - hazard information about the by-products of materials that may generate combustible dusts due to processing or handling; - identification of combustible dust hazards and selection of physical properties to include in MSDS.
Issue a standard designed to prevent combustible dust fires and explosions in general industry. Base the standard on current National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) dust explosion standards (including NFPA 654 and NFPA 484), and include at least - hazard assessment, - engineering controls, - housekeeping, - building design, - explosion protection, - operating procedures, and - worker training.
Revise the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) (1910.1200) to: - Clarify that the HCS covers combustible dusts, including those materials that may reasonably be anticipated to generate combustible dusts through downstream processing or handling. - Require Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) to include the hazards and physical properties of combustible dusts, as well as clear information on safe handling practices and references to relevant consensus standards.
Communicate to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) the need to amend the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) to address combustible dust hazards by: - defining combustible dusts, - specifying the hazards that must be addressed in chemical information sheets, and - addressing the physical properties that must be included on a chemical information sheet pertinent to combustible dusts.
Provide training through the OSHA Training Institute (OTI) on recognizing and preventing combustible dust explosions.
While a standard is being developed, identify manufacturing industries at risk and develop and implement a national Special Emphasis Program (SEP) on combustible dust hazards in general industry. Include in the SEP an outreach program focused on the information in the Safety and Health Information Bulletin (SHIB), Combustible Dust in Industry: Preventing and Mitigating the Effects of Fire and Explosions.