OSHA Revises Combustible Dust NEP
On January 27, 2023, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that it issued a revised Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program (NEP). OSHA notes that any combustible material can burn rapidly when in a finely divided form, and if such a dust is suspended in air in the right concentration, under certain conditions, it can become explosible. The purpose of the revised NEP is to continue OSHA inspections of facilities that generate or handle combustible dusts likely to cause fire, flash fire, deflagration, and explosion hazards. According to OSHA, 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. OSHA states that it added the following industries to the NEP because they have 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; and
- 424510 – Grain and Field Bean Merchant Wholesalers.