OSHA Expands National Emphasis Program on Combustible Dust

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a revised Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program (NEP) to continue OSHA inspections of facilities that generate or handle combustible dusts likely to cause fire, flash fire, deflagration and explosion hazards. The Combustible Dust NEP was revised based on enforcement history and combustible dust incident reports and sets forth a new approach for locating and inspecting subject establishments. In 2018, wood and food products made up an average of 70% of the materials involved in combustible dust fires and explosions. 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.

Notably for WDMA members, the updated NEP includes the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes for Metal Window and Door Manufacturing and Wood Window and Door Manufacturing as industries with a higher likelihood of having combustible dust hazards. This means that WDMA members are a specific target for OSHA inspections concerning combustible dust, especially as data from OSHA over the last decade consistently ranks window, door and skylight manufacturing as one of the top five industries with combustible dust hazards.

OSHA offers a variety of options for employers looking for compliance assistance. The On-Site Consultation Program provides professional, high-quality, individualized assistance to small businesses at no cost. OSHA also has compliance assistance specialists in most of their 85 Area Offices across the nation who provide robust outreach and education programs for employers and workers. WDMA members can find and contact OSHA’s regional and area offices by clicking here.

Visit OSHA’s Combustible Dust website, view the Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program, and read the official OSHA press release for more information.

For any questions, please contact Jacob Carter, WDMA’s Director of Government Affairs, at [email protected].

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