1. West Pharmaceuticals

    January 29, 2003

    Kingston, NC - 6 Killed, 38 injured

    On January 29, 2003, an explosion and fire destroyed the West Pharmaceutical Services plant in Kinston, North Carolina, causing six deaths, dozens of injuries, and hundreds of job losses. The facility produced rubber stoppers and other products for medical use. The fuel for the explosion was a fine plastic powder, which accumulated above a suspended ceiling over a manufacturing area at the plant and ignited.


  2. CTA Acoustics

    February 20, 2003

    Corbin, KY - 7 Killed, 37 Injured

    On February 20, 2003, an explosion and fire damaged the CTA Acoustics manufacturing plant in Corbin, Kentucky, fatally injuring seven workers. The facility produced fiberglass insulation for the automotive industry. CSB investigators have found that the explosion was fueled by resin dust accumulated in a production area, likely ignited by flames from a malfunctioning oven. The resin involved was a phenolic binder used in producing fiberglass mats.


  3. Hayes Lemmerz

    October 29, 2003

    Huntington, IN - 1 Killed, 2 Injured

    On the evening of October 29, 2003, a series of explosions severely burned two workers, injured a third, and caused property damage to the Hayes Lemmerz manufacturing plant in Huntington, Indiana. One of the severely burned men subsequently died. The Hayes Lemmerz plant manufactures cast aluminum automotive wheels, and the explosions were fueled by accumulated aluminum dust, a flammable byproduct of the wheel production process.


  4. Combustible Dust Study

    November 11, 2006

    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. The CSB’s final report and recommendations were released on November 11, 2006.


  5. OSHA Announces National Emphasis Program on Combustible Dust

    October 18, 2007

    OSHA initiated a National Emphasis Program (NEP) to address the deflagration, other fire, and explosion hazards that may exist at facilities handling combustible dust. The purpose of the NEP was to inspect facilities that generate or handle combustible dusts which pose a deflagration or other fire hazard when suspended in air or some other oxidizing medium over a range of concentrations, regardless of particle size or shape; deflagrations can lead to explosions. Combustible dusts are often either organic or metal dusts that are finely ground into very small particles, fibers, fines, chips, chunks, flakes, or a small mixture of these.

    Types of dusts include, but are not limited to: metal dust, such as aluminum and magnesium; wood dust; plastic dust; biosolids; organic dust, such as sugar, paper, soap, and dried blood; and dusts from certain textiles. Some industries that handle combustible dusts include: agriculture, chemicals, textiles, forest and furniture products, wastewater treatment, metal processing, paper products, pharmaceuticals, and recycling operations (metal, paper, and plastic).


  6. Imperial Sugar

    February 07, 2008

    Port Wentworth, GA - 14 Killed, 38 Injured

    On February 7, 2008, a huge explosion and fire occurred at the Imperial Sugar refinery northwest of Savannah, Georgia, causing 14 deaths and injuring 38 others, including 14 with serious and life-threatening burns. The explosion was fueled by massive accumulations of combustible sugar dust throughout the packaging building.


  7. OSHA Announcement

    April 29, 2009

    OSHA announced initiation of comprehensive rulemaking on combustible dust


  8. OSHA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    October 21, 2009

    OSHA published an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR).


  9. OSHA Stakeholder Meeting in Washington, DC

    December 14, 2009
  10. OSHA Stakeholder Meeting in Atlanta, GA

    February 17, 2010
  11. OSHA Stakeholder Meeting in Chicago, IL

    April 21, 2010
  12. OSHA Virtual Stakeholder Meeting

    June 28, 2010
  13. OSHA Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    November 01, 2010

    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) panel postponed several times.


  14. AL Solutions

    December 09, 2010

    AL Solutions  New Cumberland, WV - 3 killed

    An explosion ripped through the New Cumberland A.L. Solutions titanium plant in West Virginia on December 9, 2010, fatally injuring three workers. The workers were processing titanium powder, which is highly flammable, at the time of the explosion.



  15. 3 Explosions at Hoeganaes Corporation

    January 31, 2011

    3 Explosions at Hoeganaes Corporation Gallatin, TN - 5 killed

    Three combustible dust incidents over a six month period occurred at the Hoeganaes facility in Gallatin, TN, resulting in fatal injuries to five workers. The facility produces powdered iron and is located about twenty miles outside of Nashville.


  16. OSHA Convenes Expert Forum

    May 13, 2011
  17. US Ink

    October 09, 2012

    US Ink East Rutherford, NJ - 7 injured

    On October 9, 2012, an operator was loading powdered Gilsonite, a combustible carbon-containing mineral, into the bag dump station near the pre-mixing room that resulted in a flash fire.  The spontaneous ignition was likely caused the initial flash fire at the bag dump and was followed by ignition of accumulated sludge-like material and powdery dust mixture of Gilsonite and carbon black in the duct work that injured seven workers.  https://www.csb.gov/us-ink-fire/



  18. OSHA Publishes Combustible Dust Resource

    April 01, 2013

    OSHA published Firefighting Precautions at Facilities with Combustible Dust*, a new, informative booklet that outlines safe procedures for emergency responders who may face fires and explosions caused by combustible dust.


  19. OSHA Proposes New SBREFA Panel Date

    February 01, 2016
  20. OSHA withdrew its rulemaking proposal

    March 01, 2017

    OSHA withdrew its rulemaking proposal to create a standard for combustible dust in general industry due to resource constraints and other priorities.



  21. Didion Milling Company

    May 31, 2017

    Didion Milling Cambria, WI - 5 killed, 14 injured

    On May 31, 2017, combustible dust explosions at the Didion Milling facility in Cambria, Wisconsin, killed five of the 19 employees working on the night of the incident. The other 14 were injured.



  22. CSB Issues "Call to Action: Combustible Dust"

    October 24, 2018

    As part of the CSB's investigation into the May 2017 Didion Mill explosion, the agency issued “Call to Action: Combustible Dust” to gather comments on the management and control of combustible dust from companies, regulators, inspectors, safety training providers, researchers, unions, and the workers affected by dust-related hazards.