H. R. 849
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
February 4, 2009
Mr. George Miller of California (for himself, Mr. Barrow, and Ms. Woolsey) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and Labor
To require the Secretary of Labor to issue interim and final occupational safety and health standards regarding worker exposure to combustible dust, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Worker Protection Against Combustible
Dust Explosions and Fires Act of 2009.
Congress finds the following:
An emergency exists concerning worker exposure to combustible dust explosions and fires.
Fourteen workers were killed and more than 60 seriously injured in a catastrophic combustible dust explosion at Imperial Sugar in Port Wentworth, Georgia on February 7, 2008.
catastrophic dust explosions that killed 14 workers in 2003, the Chemical
Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) issued a report in November 2006,
which identified 281 combustible dust incidents between 1980 and 2005 that
killed 119 workers and injured 718. The CSB concluded that
dust explosions are a serious hazard in American industry.
A quarter of the explosions occurred at food industry facilities, including sugar plants. Seventy additional combustible dust explosions have occurred since 2005.
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) often do not adequately address the hazards of combustible dusts, and the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) inadequately addresses dust explosion hazards and fails to ensure that safe work practices and guidance documents are included in MSDSs.
The CSB recommended that OSHA issue a standard designed to prevent combustible dust fires and explosions in general industry, based on current National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) dust explosion standards.
The CSB also recommended that OSHA revise the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) (1910.1200) to clarify that combustible dusts are covered and that Material Safety Data Sheets contain information about the hazards and physical properties of combustible dusts.
OSHA has not initiated rulemaking in response to the CSB’s recommendation.
OSHA issued a grain handling facilities standard (29 C.F.R. 1910.272), in 1987 that has proven highly effective in reducing the risk of combustible grain dust explosions, according to an OSHA evaluation.
No Occupational Safety and Health Administration standard comprehensively addresses combustible dust explosion hazards in general industry.
Voluntary National Fire Protection Association standards exist which, when implemented, effectively reduce the likelihood and impact of combustible dust explosions.
Issuance of Standard on combustible dust
Application and rulemaking
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Labor shall promulgate an interim final standard regulating combustible dusts. The interim final standard shall, at a minimum, apply to manufacturing, processing, blending, conveying, repackaging, and handling of combustible particulate solids and their dusts, including organic dusts (such as sugar, candy, paper, soap, and dried blood), plastics, sulfur, wood, rubber, furniture, textiles, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, fibers, dyes, coal, metals (such as aluminum, chromium, iron, magnesium, and zinc), fossil fuels, and others determined by the Secretary, but shall not apply to processes already covered by OSHA’s standard on grain facilities (29 C.F.R. 1910.272).
The interim final standard required under this subsection shall include the following:
Requirements for hazard assessment to identify, evaluate, and control combustible dust hazards.
Requirements for a written program that includes provisions for hazardous dust inspection, testing, hot work, ignition control, and housekeeping, including the frequency and method or methods used to minimize accumulations of combustible dust on ledges, floors, equipment, and other exposed surfaces.
Requirements for engineering controls (which requirements shall be effective 6 months after the date on which the interim standard is issued), administrative controls, and operating procedures, such as means to control fugitive dust emissions and ignition sources, the safe use and maintenance of dust producing and dust collection systems and filters, minimizing horizontal surfaces where dust can accumulate, and sealing of areas inaccessible to housekeeping.
Requirements for housekeeping to prevent accumulation of combustible dust in places of employment in such depths that it can present explosion, deflagration, or other fire hazards, including safe methods of dust removal.
Requirements for employee participation in hazard assessment, development of and compliance with the written program, and other elements of hazard management.
Requirements to provide written safety and health information and annual training to employees, including housekeeping procedures, hot work procedures, preventive maintenance procedures, common ignition sources, and lock-out, tag-out procedures.
The requirements in this subsection shall take effect without regard to the procedural requirements applicable to regulations promulgated under section 6(b) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 655(b)) or the procedural requirements of chapter 5 of title 5, United States Code.
Effective date of interim standard
Except as specified in paragraph (2)(C) with regards to engineering controls, the interim final standard shall take effect 30 days after issuance. The interim final standard shall have the legal effect of an occupational safety and health standard, and shall apply until a final standard becomes effective under section 6 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (29 U.S.C. 655).
Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Labor shall, pursuant to section 6 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (29 U.S.C. 655), promulgate a final standard regulating combustible dust explosions.
The final standard required under this subsection shall include the following:
The scope described in subsection (a)(1).
The worker protection provisions in subsection (a)(2).
Requirements for managing change of dust producing materials, technology, equipment, staffing, and procedures.
Requirements for building design such as explosion venting, ducting, and sprinklers.
Requirements for explosion protection, including separation and segregation of the hazard.
Relevant and appropriate provisions of National Fire Protection Association combustible dust standards.
The final standard required by this subsection shall be promulgated in accordance with the procedural requirements for rulemaking under section 6(b) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 655(b)) and under title 5, United States Code, including the requirements relating to small businesses in chapter 6 of such title.
Revision of the hazard communication standard
other provision of law, not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of
this Act, the Secretary of Labor shall revise the hazard communication standard
in section 1910.1200 of title 29, Code of Federal Regulations, by amending the
physical hazard in subsection (c) of such section
a combustible dust as an additional example of such a
Effect of modifications
The modification under this section shall be in force until superseded in whole or in part by regulations promulgated by the Secretary of Labor under section 6(b) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 655(b)) and shall be enforced in the same manner and to the same extent as any rule or regulation promulgated under section 6(b).
The modification to the hazard communication standard required shall take effect within 30 days after the publication of the revised rule.