Rulemaking Watch: OSHA's Combustible Dust Rulemaking

Rulemaking History and Status (Last updated October 26, 2017)

In April 2009, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that it was initiating a comprehensive rulemaking on combustible dust. Shortly thereafter, in October 2009, OSHA published an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) announcing the agency's intent to promulgate a dust standard, and requested comments, "including data and other information, on issues related to the hazards of combustible dust in the workplace."

In December 2009, February 2010, and April 2010, OSHA held stakeholder meetings in Washington, DC, Atlanta, and Chicago. In June 2010, the agency held a Virtual Stakeholder Meeting to collect additional information. The agency also opted to convene an Expert Forum in May 2011.

The next required step in the federal rulemaking process, the convening of a Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) panel, has been postponed several times. In its Spring and Fall 2010 regulatory agendas, OSHA projected that the SBREFA panel would take place in April 2011; subsequent agendas projected it would be held in December 2011, October 2013, November 2013, and April 2014. In November 2014, OSHA released its Fall 2014 regulatory agenda, which delayed the SBREFA panel, originally scheduled for December 2014, to February 2016, downgrading the the standard from "Pre-Rule stage" to "Long-term action."

In its the Spring 2015 regulatory agenda released May 2015, OSHA upgraded its combustible dust standard from "Long-term action" to "Pre-Rule stage" with the SBREFA panel expected February 2016. However, in the Fall 2015 regulatory agenda released November 2015, OSHA delayed the SBREFA panel until August, 2016. OSHA again postponed the SBREFA panel from August 2016 to October 2016 in its Spring 2016 regulatory agenda.

On March 30, 2017, according to the Spring 2017 semi-annual regulatory agenda, OSHA withdrew its rulemaking proposal to create a standard for combustible dust in general industry due to resource constraints and other priorities.

The CSB will post updates here as they become available.

Combustible Dust Rulemaking Materials


Public Resources about Rulemaking: