• Publication Date:
  • Publication Type:
    Proposed Rule
  • Fed Register #:
  • Standard Number:
  • Title:
    Combustible Dust; Proposed Rule
[Federal Register: October 21, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 202)][Proposed Rules]               
[Page 54333-54347]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]


Part III

Department of Labor


Occupational Safety and Health Administration


29 CFR Part 1910

Combustible Dust; Proposed Rule



Occupational Safety and Health Administration

29 CFR Part 1910

[Docket No. OSHA-2009-0023]
RIN 1218-AC41

Combustible Dust

AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking.


SUMMARY: In this advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR), OSHA is 
requesting comments, including data and other information, on issues 
related to the hazards of combustible dust in the workplace. For the 
purposes of this notice, the term "combustible dust" includes all 
combustible particulate solids of any size, shape, or chemical 
composition that could present a fire or deflagration hazard when 
suspended in air or other oxidizing medium. OSHA plans to use the 
information received in response to this notice in developing a 
proposed standard for combustible dust.

DATES: Submit comments in response to this ANPR by January 19, 2010.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments as follows:
     Electronic. Submit comments electronically at http://www.regulations.gov,
which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Follow the instructions online 
for submitting comments.
     Facsimile. Commenters may fax submissions, including 
attachments, that are no longer than 10 pages in length to the OSHA 
Docket Office at (202) 693-1648; OSHA does not require hard copies of 
these documents. Commenters must submit lengthy attachments that 
supplement these documents (e.g., studies, journal articles), in 
triplicate hard copy, to the OSHA Docket Office, Technical Data Center, 
Room N-2625, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., NW., 
Washington, DC 20210. These attachments must clearly identify the 
commenter's name, date, subject, and docket number (i.e., OSHA-2009-
0023) so the Agency can attach them to the appropriate comments.
     Regular mail, express delivery, hand (courier) delivery, 
and messenger service. Submit three copies of comments and any 
additional material (e.g., studies, journal articles) to the OSHA 
Docket Office, Docket No. OSHA-2009-0023 (or Regulation Identifier 
Number (RIN) 1218-AC41), Technical Data Center, Room N-2625, U.S. 
Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 
20210; telephone (202) 693-2350 (TDY number: (877) 889-5627). Note that 
security procedures may result in significant delays in receiving 
comments and other written materials by regular mail. Contact the OSHA 
Docket Office for information about security procedures concerning 
delivery of materials by express delivery, hand delivery, and messenger 
service. The hours of operation for the OSHA Docket Office are 8:15 
a.m.-4:45 p.m., e.t.
     Instructions. All submissions must include the Agency name 
and the OSHA docket number or RIN for this rulemaking (i.e., OSHA 
Docket No. OSHA-2009-0023 or RIN 1218-AC41). Submissions, including any 
personal information provided, are placed in the public docket without 
change and will be available online at http://www.regulations.gov. 
Therefore, the Agency cautions commenters about submitting statements 
they do not want made available to the public, or submitting comments 
that contain personal information (either about themselves or others) 
such as Social Security numbers, birth dates, and medical data.
     Docket: To read or download submissions or other material 
in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov or the OSHA Docket 
Office at the address above. While all documents in the docket are 
listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index, some information (e.g., 
copyrighted material) is not publicly available to read or download 
through this Web site. All submissions, including copyrighted material, 
are available for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office. 
Contact the OSHA Docket Office for assistance in locating docket 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Information regarding this ANPR is 
available from the following sources:
     Press inquiries. Contact Jennifer Ashley, Director, OSHA 
Office of Communications, Room N-3647, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 
Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-
     General and technical information. Contact Don Pittenger, 
Director, Office of Safety Systems, OSHA Directorate of Standards and 
Guidance, Room N-3718, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution 
Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-2255; fax: 
(202) 693-1663.
     Copies of this Federal Register notice. Electronic copies 
are available at http://www.regulations.gov. This Federal Register 
notice, as well as news releases and other relevant information, also 
are available at OSHA's Web page at http://www.osha.gov.


Table of Contents

I. Background
    A. Introduction
    B. Dust Explosions in Grain Handling Facilities
    C. Dust Explosions in Other Industries
    D. CSB Combustible Dust Study
    E. Congressional Response
    F. Existing OSHA Standards
    G. Consensus and Industry Standards
    H. National Emphasis Program Analysis
    I. Regulatory Issues
II. Request for Data, Information, and Comments
    A. Industry Background
    B. Definition of Combustible Dust
    C. Hazard Recognition
    D. Hazard Assessment
    E. Hazard Communication and Training
    F. Consensus, Industry, and Insurance Standards
    G. State and Local Codes
    H. Engineering Controls
    I. Administrative Controls
    J. Emergency Response
    K. Investigation of Incidents
    L. Regulatory Approach
    M. Economic Impacts and Benefits
    N. Impacts on Small Entities
    O. Compliance Assistance
III. Public Participation
IV. Authority and Signature

I. Background

A. Introduction

    The hazards of combustible dust encompass a wide array of 
materials, industries, and processes. Any combustible material can burn 
rapidly when in a finely divided form. Materials that may form 
combustible dust include, but are not limited to, wood, coal, plastics, 
biosolids, candy, sugar, spice, starch, flour, feed, grain, fertilizer, 
tobacco, paper, soap, rubber, drugs, dried blood, dyes, certain 
textiles, and metals (such as aluminum and magnesium).
    Five elements are needed for a combustible dust explosion to occur. 
The first three elements are those necessary for a fire: Fuel, heat, 
and an oxidizer. These three elements form the "fire triangle," in 
which combustible dust is the fuel, heat is provided by any source of 
ignition, and oxygen is present in air and in oxidizers.
    The fourth element is dispersal of dust into a cloud of the proper 
concentration. These four conditions are necessary for a deflagration, 
which is violent combustion accompanied by a pressure wave. The 
combustion is rapid, but propagates at a speed less than the speed of 
    A fifth element, confinement, is necessary for an explosion. 
Confinement can be any enclosure--including, but not limited to, a 
building, room, duct, or processing and storage equipment. An explosion 
occurs when the pressure developed by a deflagration bursts or ruptures 
the enclosure. Together, these five elements (fuel, heat, an oxidizer, 
dispersion and confinement) are known as the "dust explosion 
pentagon." The minimum explosible concentration is the lowest 
concentration of combustible dust suspended in air that will support a 

    \1\ The terms "deflagration", "explosion", and "minimum 
explosible concentration" are used in this notice as defined in 
NFPA 654 (2006 edition) for combustible dust only. This notice does 
not address the terms "detonation" or "explosion" as they relate 
to materials classified as explosives.

    Secondary explosions or deflagrations occur when pressure waves 
from an initial (or primary) deflagration or explosion cause dispersal 
and ignition of combustible dust that has accumulated on surfaces. 
Secondary explosions are often more devastating than primary explosions 
due to the increased amount of fuel and the size of the ignition source 
(i.e., the initial event). In some cases, explosions continue to 
cascade throughout an area or facility.
    OSHA is developing a standard that will comprehensively address the 
fire and explosion hazards of combustible dust. The Agency's existing 
standards address some, but not all, of the elements needed to protect 
workers from these hazards. For example, OSHA's general industry 
housekeeping standard (29 CFR 1910.22(a)(1)) addresses accumulations of 
dust, including dusts that may be combustible, and the general industry 
electrical standard (29 CFR 1910, subpart S) helps to control 
electrical ignition hazards. When workers are exposed to hazards not 
currently addressed in the OSHA standards, employers are cited under 
the General Duty Clause (GDC) specified by Section 5(a)(1) of the 
Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act; see 29 U.S.C. 
654). The information requested in this notice will help the Agency 
develop a standard that would better protect workers from the hazards 
of combustible dust.
    Industries that may have combustible dust hazards include, among 
others: Agriculture, animal food manufacturing, grain handling, food 
manufacturing, wood product manufacturing, chemical manufacturing, 
textile manufacturing, furniture manufacturing, metal processing, 
fabricated metal products and machinery manufacturing, pesticide 
manufacturing, pharmaceutical manufacturing, tire manufacturing, 
production of rubber and plastics, plastics and rubber products 
manufacturing, recycling, wastewater treatment, and coal handling and 
processing. To determine which industries may be affected by an OSHA 
standard regulating combustible dust hazards, OSHA identified 
industries that had previous incidents relating to combustible dust. 
Table 1 summarizes this data. Incidents were identified using data from 
the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) involving 
incidents occurring from 1980 to 2005. For incidents between 2006 and 
2008, OSHA used reports gathered by the Web site 
"dustexplosions.blogspot.com." Using these two data sources, OSHA 
assigned a North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code 
to each incident using the available information. The groups of NAICS 
codes in this table were determined by combining similar industries 
together that had explosions in the past. Incidents having insufficient 
information to assign a NAICS code to the affected establishment were 
classified as "unknown." OSHA's preliminary analyses show that, in 
industries for which combustible dust fires or explosions have 
occurred, there are 426,000 establishments employing 16 million workers 
(see Table 1). The table does not show that these industries include 
over 333,000 small businesses with 6.5 million employees. It is 
possible that some establishments in these industries do not have 
significant dust hazards.

  Table 1--Industries Having at Least One Recorded Combustible Dust Incident Reported Since 1980, According to
                                                  OSHA Research
      NAICS group \1\            Name of industry \1\      (1980-2008)   Firms \3\   Establishments   Employees
                                                               \2\                         \3\           \3\
115111....................  Cotton Ginning...............            1          260            279         2,654
221000....................  Utilities, Electric Power Gen           28        6,554         17,174       614,427
311000....................  Food Manufacturing (Except               8        5,820          7,786       834,277
                             311100, 311200, 311300,
                             311800, 311900).
311100....................  Animal Food Mfg. (Except                 2          176            248        16,202
311119....................  Other Animal Food Mfg........            5        1,046          1,549        31,971
311200....................  Grain and Oilseed Milling                5          392            658        31,439
                             (Except 311221 and 311230).
311221....................  Wet Corn Milling.............           21           33             65         8,875
311230....................  Breakfast Cereal Mfg.........            6           43             66        13,410
311300....................  Sugar & Confectionary Product            5        1,581          1,700        66,341
                             Mfg. (Except 311313).
311313....................  Beet Sugar Manufacturing.....            6           10             33         6,263
311800....................  Bakeries.....................            4        9,301         10,072       288,393
311900....................  Other Food Manufacturing.....            8        2,768          3,205       161,567
312000....................  Beverage and Tobacco Product             4        2,193          2,379        83,531
                             Mfg. (Except 312110).
313000....................  Textile Mills................           11        2,770          3,243       187,766
314000....................  Textile Product Mills........            2        6,456          6,726       155,586
321000....................  Wood Product Mfg. (Except               28       11,192         12,749       449,650
                             321113 and 321219).
321113....................  Sawmills.....................            7        3,398          3,731       104,666
321219....................  Reconstituted Wood Prod. Mfg.           14          167            255        22,190
322000....................  Paper Manufacturing..........           18        3,269          5,139       441,430
324000....................  Petroleum & Coal Products Mfg            1        1,166          2,448       102,997
325000....................  Chemical Mfg. (Except 325188            31        7,737         10,749       514,732
                             and 325410).
325188....................  Basic Inorganic Chemical Mfg.           11          390            612        40,589
325410....................  Pharmaceutical & Medicine Mfg            8        1,481          1,886       249,743
326000....................  Plastics and Rubber Products            17       11,365         11,454       846,857
                             Mfg. (Except 326211).
326211....................  Tire Manufacturing...........            5           91            138        53,985
327000....................  Nonmetallic Mineral Prod. Mfg            4       11,332         17,350       482,459
331000....................  Primary Metal Manufacturing..           32        4,310          5,285       449,914
332000....................  Fabricated Metal Product Mfg.           27       54,969         59,064     1,563,713
333000....................  Machinery Manufacturing......            7       23,842         26,317     1,126,671
334000....................  Computer, Electronic Equip.              2       12,733         14,548     1,057,485
336000....................  Transportation Equipment Mfg.           16       10,552         12,707     1,622,527
337000....................  Furniture & Related Product              2        4,779          5,148       188,908
                             Mfg. (Except 337100).
337100....................  Household & Institutional               16       15,878         16,301       354,341
                             Furniture, Cabinet Mfg.
339000....................  Miscellaneous Manufacturing..            7       29,925         31,239       686,096
423000....................  Merchant Wholesalers (423110,            4       22,669         27,704       432,265
                             423210, 423310, 423930).
488000....................  Support Activities for                   1       29,416         37,083       579,589
493000....................  Warehousing and Storage......            1        7,176         13,849       595,325
511000....................  Publishing Industries........            1       22,874         31,821     1,039,739
561210....................  Facilities Support Services..            1        1,680          4,115       164,637
562000....................  Waste Management and                     3       16,189         19,919       345,334
                             Remediation Services.
Other.....................  Unknown Industry Category....           42  ...........  ..............  ...........
                            Total........................          422      347,983        426,794    16,018,544
\1\ North American Industry Classification System, United States, 2008.
\2\ Incident data from U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board and 
\3\ County Business Patterns 2006--U.S. Census Bureau.

B. Dust Explosions in Grain Handling Facilities

    In the 1970s, agriculture and food processing industries 
experienced several combustible dust explosions. A 1977 grain-dust 
explosion in Westwago, Louisiana, killed 36 workers. It remains the 
deadliest grain-dust explosion of the modern era. Five days later, 
another grain-dust explosion in Galveston, Texas, caused the deaths of 
9 workers and injured 34 others.\2\ As a result of these and other 
grain-dust explosions in the 1970s, OSHA issued a document entitled 
"Grain Elevator Industry Hazard Alert," which provided employers, 
workers, and other officials with information concerning the hazards 
and safe handling of grain.

    \2\ National Academy of Science, International Symposium on 
Grain Elevator Explosions, July 11-12, 1978, National Materials 
Advisory Board Committee on Evaluation of Industrial Hazards.

    Later in the 1970s, the Agency initiated rulemaking to address the 
problem of grain-dust explosions. On December 31, 1987, after extensive 
public comment on its proposed rule and several public hearings, OSHA 
published its final standard on Grain handling facilities, 29 CFR 
1910.272 (52 FR 44592). In its Combustible Dust Hazard Study of 
November 2006 (discussed further in Section 1(D) of this notice), the 
U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board stated: "OSHA's 
Grain handling facilities standard provides a model for OSHA action 
that has proven effective in reducing catastrophic dust explosions in 
the grain industry." \3\

    \3\ U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board 
Investigation Report No. 2006-H-1, Combustible Dust Hazard Study; 
November 2006, page 67.

    During a review of the Grain handling facilities standard in 2003, 
OSHA received comments from union representatives claiming that, since 
its promulgation, grain explosions were down 42 percent, and injuries 
and deaths from grain explosions were reduced by 60 percent and 70 
percent respectively.\4\ Figure 1 shows the number of grain-dust 
explosions per year since 1978. For the ten years prior to the standard 
(1978-1987), the average number of explosions per year was 20.5. This 
average decreased to 10.3 explosions per year from 1988 to 1997 and 
further decreased to 6.3 per year from 1998 to 2007. OSHA gathered this 
data from the Regulatory Review of OSHA's Grain Handling Standard,\5\ 
Kansas State University in cooperation with USDA Federal Grain 
Inspection Service,\6\ and USDA Grain Inspection, Packers, and 
Stockyards Administration.\7\

    \4\ Regulatory Review of OSHA's Grain Handling Standard [29 CFR 
1910.272], February 2003.
    \5\ Regulatory Review of OSHA's Grain Handling Standard [29 CFR 
1910.272], February 2003.
    \6\ Kansas State University, in cooperation with USDA Federal 
Grain Inspection Service, available online at: http://
    \7\ USDA Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards 
Administration, personal e-mail communication from USDA to OSHA, Jul 
10, 2009, with attachment entitled, "Explosion Data."



C. Dust Explosions in Other Industries

    The flammability and explosiveness of various types of organic and 
inorganic dusts has been recognized for well over a century. The 
devastating effects of secondary explosions resulting from accumulated 
dust have also been well documented, particularly since the early years 
of the 20th century; the hazards of some dusts, particularly coal dust, 
mineral dusts, and flour, were recognized many years before the 20th 
century. However, no national organizations focused on the hazards of 
combustible dusts until the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 
established a committee to do so in 1922. The NFPA's work resulted in a 
wealth of knowledge about the prevention and control of dust-explosion 
hazards in material handling and manufacturing processes. In 1923, NFPA 
published the first national consensus standard to address the 
prevention of dust explosions in grain terminals and flour mills.\8\

    \8\ Cashdollar, K. L., & Hertzberg, M., eds (1987) Industrial 
Dust Explosions, ASTM International, U.S., p. 345.

    Over the past 15 years, a number of industries have experienced 
serious dust explosions, causing loss of life and injuries, as well as 
property damage. The first of these incidents, an explosion and fire in 
a textile factory in Methuen, Massachusetts in 1995, injured 37 people 
and destroyed several large buildings.\9\ After a detailed 
investigation of this incident, OSHA issued a Hazard Information 
Bulletin in 1998 for the textile industry.

    \9\ U.S. Fire Administration Technical Report 110, 
Manufacturing Mill Fire, Methuen, MA, December 11, 1995.

    In 1999, an automotive plant near Dearborn, Michigan experienced an 
explosion in one of the boilers in its power plant. Analysis of the 
explosion indicated that the initial boiler explosion may have caused 
accumulated coal dust on plant surfaces to become airborne, fueling a 
secondary explosion that destroyed part of the facility. Six workers 
were killed and 36 were injured.\10\

    \10\ Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth, CIS 
Reaches Historic Settlement Agreement with Ford and UAW, 1999 
available online: http://www.michigan.gov/dleg/0,1607,7-154-10573_

    In the same year, there was an explosion at a foundry in 
Springfield, Massachusetts, involving powdered phenolic resin in the 
iron castings manufacturing process. This explosion killed three 
workers and injured nine. Investigators found heavy resin deposits in 
ducts and other surfaces. From this finding, they concluded that a 
primary explosion in a dust extraction duct had dispersed the settled 
dust, and that the dispersed dust then fueled secondary explosions in 
the facility.\11\

    \11\ U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL), 1999. Joint Foundry 
Explosion Investigation Team Report, Jahn Foundry Corporation, 
Springfield, MA, February 25, 1999.

    A rubber-dust explosion at a rubber recycling plant in Vicksburg, 
Mississippi in 2002, resulted in five fatalities and seven injuries. 
Part of the recycling process involved grinding rubber tires; the 
grinding process produced rubber dust, which accumulated on building 
surfaces and in a product bagging bin that was not equipped with 
explosion vents. A fire started on the roof of the plant. When it 
spread to the bagging bin, it dispersed the layers of dust in the bin 
and on the surrounding surfaces, fueling an explosion.\12\

    \12\ OSHA, 2002, Region 4 Report on Explosion at Rouse 
Polymerics, U.S. Department of Labor.

    A massive explosion in 2003 at a pharmaceuticals device 
manufacturing facility in Kinston, North Carolina, injured 38 workers 
and killed 6. In a process in which rubber strips were dipped into a 
polyethylene slurry, fans were used to help dry the coated rubber, 
causing fine polyethylene powder to be disbursed. Employees diligently 
cleaned the visible areas of the process room; however, most of the 
employees were unaware that combustible polyethylene
dust was accumulating in the enclosed space above the suspended 
ceiling, carried there by the building ventilation system. Due to the 
extensive damage to the facility, and the deaths of potential 
witnesses, investigators were unable to definitively determine the 
ignition source or the method of dust dispersal.\13\

    \13\ Investigation Report, Dust Explosion, West Pharmaceutical 
Services, Inc., U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board 
(CSB), September 2004.

    That same year, phenolic resin again fueled a fatal dust explosion, 
this time in an acoustic insulation manufacturing facility in Corbin, 
Kentucky. As workers were cleaning fugitive dust accumulations with 
compressed air, a cloud of phenolic resin formed near a malfunctioning 
appliance, which likely ignited the cloud of dust. The initial 
deflagration dispersed large quantities of combustible dust that had 
accumulated on surfaces throughout the facility. The resulting dust 
clouds fueled several secondary explosions. The building was destroyed, 
7 workers were killed, and 37 were injured.\14\

    \14\ CSB, 2005, Investigation Report, Combustible Dust Fire and 
Explosions, CTA Acoustics, Inc., February 2005.

    Even finely divided metals can cause dust explosions. Again in 
2003, one worker was killed and several injured in an aluminum dust 
explosion at a wheel manufacturing facility. At the point in the 
process in which scrap aluminum was reduced to small chips, aluminum 
particles were drawn into a dust collector. An initial explosion in the 
dust collector spread through the ventilation system, causing a 
secondary explosion involving the dust accumulated on overhead beams, 
ducts, and other structures.\15\

    \15\ CSB, 2003, Investigation Report, Hayes Lemerz Dust 
Explosions and Fire, September 2003.

    As a result of this series of incidents in 2003, OSHA produced a 
Safety and Health Information Bulletin (SHIB), Combustible Dust in 
Industry: Preventing and Mitigating the Effects of Fire and Explosions. 
This widely disseminated guidance document provided employers and 
workers with information on combustible dust explosions, including 
mitigation. It contains references to both the applicable OSHA 
standards and the related industry consensus standards. However, 
incidents continued to occur despite the availability of these 
standards and the guidance in the SHIB.
    In early 2008, a catastrophic incident at a sugar refinery in Port 
Wentworth, Georgia, killed 14 workers and seriously injured 36 others. 
The CSB investigated \16\ and determined that an initial dust explosion 
occurred in an enclosed steel belt conveyor below three 105-foot-tall 
silos, most likely ignited by an overheated conveyor bearing. Large 
quantities of sugar dust that had accumulated on surfaces throughout 
the plant fueled a series of massive secondary explosions and fires, 
destroying much of the facility. The plant had a history of previous, 
smaller initial explosion incidents that did not result in significant 
damage or secondary explosions. The fine OSHA proposed for this 
employer is the third-largest fine ever proposed for a single incident.

    \16\ U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board 
Investigation Report No. 2008-05-1-GA, Sugar Dust Explosion and 
Fire; September 2009.

    The sugar plant incident highlighted a lack of hazard awareness and 
a failure to comply with existing Federal standards and State codes. 
OSHA took prompt action to further heighten awareness of this hazard by 
producing additional guidance for employers and workers, including a 
Web page, a fact sheet, and a poster. The Agency mailed the SHIB 
directly to 30,000 employers suspected of having combustible dust 
hazards, and also focused enforcement efforts on sugar plants.

D. CSB Combustible Dust Study

    The CSB conducted a study of dust explosion incidents between 1980 
and 2005. The 2006 report from that study identified 281 incidents that 
killed 119 workers and injured 718.\17\ From 2006 through 2008, OSHA 
has found records of an additional 16 deaths and 84 injuries; these 
records are included in Table 1 above. Among CSB's findings and 
conclusions were the following:

    \17\ U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board 
Investigation Report No. 2006-H-1, Combustible Dust Hazard Study; 
November 2006, p. 31.

     Many industry and safety professionals lack awareness of 
combustible dust hazards.
     The widely recognized standards of good engineering 
practice in the NFPA's voluntary consensus standards were not being 
followed in many facilities.
     State and local fire codes were ineffective as a viable 
mechanism to reduce dust explosion risks in general industry 
     OSHA's focus has been on enforcement activities in 
response to combustible dust incidents.
     The only comprehensive OSHA standard that specifically 
addresses combustible dust hazards (the 1987 Grain handling facilities 
standard) has effectively reduced the risk and consequences of grain-
dust explosions, and incorporates many of the same principles that can 
be found in the NFPA standards.
    The report of CSB's combustible dust study also listed five 
recommendations for OSHA. This notice addresses the first of these 
    "Issue a standard designed to prevent combustible dust fires and 
explosions in general industry. Base the standard on current National 
Fire Protection Association (NFPA) dust explosion standards (including 
NFPA 654 and NFPA 484), and include at least
     Hazard assessment,
     engineering controls,
     building design,
     explosion protection,
     operating procedures, and
     worker training."
    The second CSB recommendation requested that OSHA revise its Hazard 
Communication Standard (HCS) (29 CFR 1910.1200) to clarify the coverage 
and requirements related to combustible dust. This recommendation is 
being addressed in a separate rulemaking.
    The third and fourth CSB recommendations suggested that OSHA, 
respectively, communicate with the United Nations Economic Commission 
for Europe the need to amend the Globally Harmonized System to address 
combustible dust hazards, and provide combustible dust-related training 
through the OSHA Training Institute. Both of these recommendations have 
been accomplished.
    The fifth CSB recommendation suggested that OSHA initiate a Special 
Emphasis Program for Combustible Dust, to include an outreach program 
focused on the information in OSHA's Safety and Health Information 
Bulletin, Combustible Dust in Industry: Preventing and Mitigating the 
Effects of Fire and Explosions. The Agency went beyond CSB's 
recommendation and implemented a National Emphasis Program (NEP) to 
increase OSHA's enforcement activities throughout the country and to 
focus on specific industry groups that experienced either frequent 
combustible dust incidents or combustible dust incidents with 
catastrophic consequences. The NEP was launched on October 17, 2007, 
and is ongoing. It was revised in 2008 to more closely focus on sugar 

E. Congressional Response

    Interest intensified in regulatory action during the months after 
the sugar-plant incident in 2008. Employee unions expressed support for 
CSB's rulemaking recommendations. On May 1, 2008, the U.S. House of 
Representatives introduced a bill entitled H.R. 5522, Worker Protection 
Against Combustible Dust Explosions and Fires Act of 2008. This bill 
directed OSHA to issue an interim combustible dust rule and an amendment 
to the HCS in 90 days, and a final rule in 18 months. H.R. 5522 was passed 
by the House and referred to the Senate.
    Two Congressional hearings were held on H.R. 5522. The first 
hearing was held by the House Committee on Education and Labor on March 
12, 2008, and the second hearing was held by the Subcommittee on 
Employment and Workplace Safety of the Senate Housing, Education, Labor 
and Pensions Committee on July 29, 2008. Assistant Secretary of Labor 
Ed Foulke testified for OSHA at these hearings; also testifying were 
representatives of CSB, NFPA, and the Georgia sugar plant that 
sustained the 2008 explosion.
    On February 4, 2009, H.R. 849, Worker Protection Against 
Combustible Dust Explosions and Fires Act of 2009, was introduced into 
the current session of Congress. The provisions of this resolution are 
the same as H.R. 5522.

F. Existing OSHA Standards

    The Agency does not have a single, comprehensive standard that 
addresses combustible dust hazards across all industries. Current OSHA 
standards provide limited protection from dust hazards in two ways: 
First, certain standards address some dust hazards for specific 
industries. Among these standards are the following:
     29 CFR 1910.261--Pulp, paper, and paperboard mills.
     29 CFR 1910.263--Bakery equipment.
     29 CFR 1910.265--Sawmills.
     29 CFR 1910.269--Electric power generation, transmission, 
and distribution.
     29 CFR 1910.272--Grain handling facilities.
    Second, some general industry standards address one or more of the 
elements that can contribute to dust explosions, such as ignition 
sources and dust accumulations, or the standards require the 
communication of information that employers and workers need to address 
dust hazards. Among these standards are:
     29 CFR 1910.22(a)--Housekeeping.
     29 CFR 1910.178--Powered industrial trucks.
     29 CFR 1910 Subpart Q--Welding, Cutting, and Brazing.
     29 CFR 1910. 269--Electric power generation, transmission, 
and distribution.
     29 CFR 1910.307--Hazardous (classified) locations.
     29 CFR 1910.334(d)--Occasional use of flammable or 
ignitable materials.
     29 CFR 1910.1200--Hazard Communication.
    As noted earlier, OSHA's existing standards for combustible dust do 
not provide a comprehensive set of requirements to fully address all of 
the prevention and mitigation methods specific to combustible dust 
hazards. Accordingly, some ignition sources are specifically covered 
(e.g., electrical installations, powered industrial trucks), while 
other ignition sources are not covered (e.g., mechanical sparks, 
friction, open flames). Additionally, OSHA standards address the 
accumulation of fugitive dust (i.e., dust that escapes from equipment 
or areas where it is normally present), but do not include measures 
that would prevent the escape of dust in the first place. Also, many 
built-in engineering controls (including the design of facilities, 
explosion venting, suppression systems, and explosion protection 
systems) are not addressed in the OSHA standards. OSHA is asking a 
series of questions about the need to address these areas in a new 
combustible dust standard to afford adequate and complete protection to 

G. Consensus and Industry Standards

    NFPA issues a number of national consensus standards that address 
the hazards of combustible dust. For example, NFPA 654, Standard for 
the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, 
Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids, addresses 
the hazards of combustible dust in a general manner. Specific 
industries are excluded from NFPA 654, but are covered by other NFPA 
standards, including NFPA 61, Standard for the Prevention of Fires and 
Dust Explosions in Agricultural and Food Processing Facilities; NFPA 
484, Standard for Combustible Metals; NFPA 655, Standard for Prevention 
of Sulfur Fires and Explosions; and NFPA 664, Standard for the 
Prevention of Fires and Explosions in Wood Processing and Woodworking 
    These five NFPA combustible dust standards have mandatory secondary 
references to a large number of other standards. The 2006 edition of 
NFPA 654 mandates compliance with 36 other NFPA standards. These 36 
secondary references, in turn, reference additional standards. In 
effect, no one standard comprehensively addresses the hazards of 
combustible dust, which may pose difficulties for some employers trying 
to develop programs to mitigate combustible dust hazards. In addition, 
the provisions of these five NFPA standards differ, which may add to 
these difficulties. Some elements of protection are addressed in some 
standards but not in others; other elements are addressed in different 
ways in the various standards. For example, NFPA 61, 484, and 654 
contain provisions for drive belts, while NFPA 655 and 664 have no 
provisions directly addressing drive belts.
    In addition to the NFPA standards listed above, NFPA issues a 
number of standards that cover the design and installation of 
protection systems specific to deflagration and explosion hazards, 
including combustible dust. Two of these standards are NFPA 68, 
Standard on Explosions Protection by Deflagration Venting, and NFPA 69, 
Standard on Explosion Prevention Systems. NFPA also has a series of 
standards that cover automatic fire suppression and alarm systems for a 
variety of facilities and hazards, but are not specific to combustible 
dust, deflagrations, or explosions.
    A large majority of State and local jurisdictions in the United 
States have adopted the NFPA standards because both of the model fire 
codes used in this country (i.e., International Code Council's 
International Fire Code, and NFPA's Fire Code) make these NFPA 
standards mandatory. However, the 2006 report on CSB's combustible dust 
study indicates that enforcement of these fire codes at the State and 
local level is "inconsistent and largely ineffective." For example, 
the 2008 sugar-plant incident occurred in Georgia, a State having a 
fire code that mandated compliance with, among other combustible dust-
related consensus standards, NFPA 61, Standard for the Prevention of 
Fires and Dust Explosions in Agricultural and Food Processing 
    NFPA standards are updated on a regular basis, usually every three 
years. In the Agency's experience, consensus standards incorporated by 
reference into OSHA rules quickly become out of date, making it 
difficult for employers to comply when the out-of-date consensus 
standards become difficult to obtain. Furthermore, OSHA cannot legally 
update NFPA or other consensus standards used in its rules by referring 
to the "current" or "most recent" edition of the consensus 
    Despite the aforementioned challenges with the application and 
enforcement of NFPA standards, the standards are used to a significant 
extent throughout industry, particularly by large companies, 
engineering consultants, and firms designing facilities with 
combustible dust hazards. Therefore, OSHA is asking for comment
on how best to incorporate the provisions of the consensus standards.

H. National Emphasis Program Analysis

    OSHA analyzed the results of its Combustible Dust National Emphasis 
Program (NEP) to better understand where combustible dust hazards exist 
and where improvements may be needed to ensure that workers are 
protected from combustible dust hazards. Between November 1, 2007, and 
February 24, 2009, OSHA conducted 813 inspections under this NEP--665 
in States under Federal OSHA authority, and 148 in States having an 
OSHA-approved State Plan. OSHA cited employers for 3,662 violations.
    Of the 665 Federal NEP inspections, 160 citations were issued under 
the General Duty Clause (GDC) for hazards related to combustible dust. 
Therefore, the rate of GDC usage for combustible-dust-related hazards 
in the NEP inspections was 24 percent during the time period noted 
above (These statistics were derived from the information available at 
the time this notice was developed; the numbers may change over time 
through the informal conference and settlement process.)
    The 160 GDC violations referenced 32 different industry or 
consensus standards developed by 6 different standards-developing 
organizations. The eleven most frequently referenced consensus 
standards were as follows, in descending order of frequency:
     NFPA 654, Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust 
Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing, and Handling of 
Combustible Particulate Solids.
     NFPA 664, Standard for the Prevention of Fires and 
Explosions in Wood Processing and Woodworking Facilities.
     NFPA 61, Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Dust 
Explosions in Agricultural and Food Processing Facilities.
     NFPA 69, Standard on Explosion Prevention Systems.
     NFPA 484, Standard for Combustible Metals.
     NFPA 68, Standard on Explosion Protection by Deflagration 
     ASME B20.1, Standard for Conveyors and Related Equipment.
     ANSI/ITSDF B56.1, Safety Standard for Low and High Lift 
     FM Global Loss Prevention Data Sheet 7-76, Prevention and 
Mitigation of Combustible Dust Explosions and Fires.
     NFPA 505, Standard on Powered Industrial Trucks.
     NFPA 86, Standard on Ovens and Furnaces.
    It has been necessary to cite the GDC extensively to address the 
various aspects of combustible dust hazards. GDC citations focused on 
each of the elements that could contribute to a dust fire or explosion, 
including containment or control of dust, isolation or control of 
ignition sources, and explosion venting or suppression systems. The 
following hazards were the most commonly cited GDC violations:
     Baghouse dust collectors located inside a building without 
proper explosion protection systems, such as explosion venting or 
explosion suppression systems.
     Deflagration isolation systems not provided to prevent 
deflagration propagation from dust collectors to other parts of the 
     Rooms with excessive dust accumulations not equipped with 
explosion relief venting to the exterior.
     Horizontal surfaces not minimized to prevent accumulation 
of dust.
     Air from dust collectors recycled through ductwork back 
into the work area.
     Legs of bucket elevator enclosures not equipped with 
explosion relief venting.
     Explosion vents on bucket elevator enclosures directed 
into work areas and not to a safe, outside location away from 
platforms, means of egress, or other potentially occupied areas.
     Pulverizers not provided with explosion venting or 
deflagration suppression systems.
     Dust collection system ductwork not constructed of metal.
     Open-flame propane heater used for comfort heating in an 
area where agricultural products were milled.
     Equipment (such as grinders and shakers) not maintained to 
minimize the leakage of combustible dust into the surrounding area.
     Electric grinders used in dust hazard areas without a hot-
work permit system.
    This list provides some indication of the areas in which current 
standards do not cover combustible dust hazards in general industry. 
Only the last two items on the list are administrative or operational 
in nature, involving maintenance, work practices, policies, and 
procedures. The other ten items involve engineering controls, such as 
fixed facilities or protection features built into the plant or the 
processing systems. These specific GDC violations point to areas that 
may be appropriate to cover in a prospective OSHA standard for 
combustible dust. Therefore, OSHA arranged the questions it is asking 
to solicit information separately for engineering controls and 
administrative controls.
    The main finding of this NEP analysis is the unusually high rate of 
GDC use in combustible dust inspections (24 percent). Ordinarily, the 
GDC is used on a much more limited basis. For the same time period 
between November 1, 2007 and February 24, 2009, the 48,969 Federal OSHA 
inspections that were conducted outside the NEP yielded 1,736 GDC 
citations (a rate of 3.5 percent). Therefore, the GDC was used almost 
seven times as often for combustible-dust-related citations than for 
all other citations. This unusually high proportion suggests the need 
for a comprehensive OSHA standard.

I. Regulatory Issues

    The CSB recommended that OSHA issue a standard to prevent 
combustible dust fires and explosions. The CSB determined that many 
tragic accidents in the past decade could have been avoided or 
minimized if employers had complied with applicable national consensus 
standards. OSHA recognizes that regulatory action needs to be 
considered as part of its overall approach to protecting workers from 
combustible dust hazards. The Agency already has made significant 
efforts to address the need for additional information and training on 
combustible dust hazards. Among these efforts are OSHA's SHIB, fact 
sheet, and poster; additional information provided on the Agency's Web 
site; outreach to employers; and specialized training for compliance 
officers. In addition, through the NEP, OSHA also enhanced compliance 
through strengthened enforcement of existing standards and citations 
under the General Duty Clause.
    The existing regulatory regime is fragmented and incomplete. The 
Agency's analysis of the combustible dust NEP, above, shows that 
existing OSHA standards do not regulate important elements of 
combustible dust hazards. The consensus standards related to 
combustible dust are large, complex, numerous, and interrelated, which 
make it difficult for employers to comply with them. In addition, where 
these consensus standards have been adopted as part of State or local 
codes, available evidence shows that they are poorly enforced at the 
local and State levels.\18\ Therefore, OSHA has preliminarily concluded 
that national consensus standards alone, even when adopted by State or local 
governments, are insufficient to adequately protect workers from these hazards.

    \18\ U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board 
Investigation Report No. 2006-H-1, Combustible Dust Hazard Study; 
November 2006, page 68.

    As noted earlier, combustible dust hazards are present in a wide 
range of industries. Many different materials, both organic and 
inorganic, can produce dust capable of fueling explosions. OSHA plans 
to evaluate affected industries to determine the most effective way to 
regulate the combustible dust hazards present in these industries. It 
may be appropriate for OSHA to treat specific industries differently, 
based at least in part on current national consensus standards.
    OSHA must consider many factors in developing a comprehensive 
standard for combustible dust. Some of these factors relate directly to 
the characteristics of the hazard and the range of variables 
encountered in the workplace, which affect the combustibility or 
explosibility of dusts. For any dust materials having a specific 
chemical composition, the chance of a combustible dust deflagration 
depends on many variables, including:
     Size of particles
     Shape of particles
     Particle surface-area-to-volume ratio
     Agglomeration (how well particles stick together)
     Impurities present in the material
     Moisture content of the material
     The predisbursal dust layer depth and location
     The concentration of particles in a dust cloud
     The spatial distribution of particles in a dust cloud (the 
variation in concentration throughout a dust cloud)
     Oxygen concentration
     Turbulence in the space or area
     Characteristics of the ignition source (including 
magnitude and level of energy)
     Location of the ignition source in relation to the dust 
    Many more variables come into play for combustible dust incidents 
than for scenarios involving flammable gases, flammable liquids, or 
larger-sized flammable solids. The ignition of vapor-air mixtures, 
especially at rest, is much more predictable and reproducible than the 
ignition of combustible dust. Consequently, some mitigation methods 
used to address combustible dust hazards are not straightforward. 
Prescriptive requirements may not be reasonable or effective in such a 
    Another factor involves whether and how to integrate current and 
future national consensus standards into a regulatory scheme. One means 
of doing so may be for OSHA to require compliance with various NFPA 
standards, rather than to develop a government-unique standard. Some of 
the issues with this approach are discussed earlier in section I(G) of 
this notice. Another approach may be to reference NFPA standards as 
acceptable compliance options.
    OSHA must also consider the interrelationship of a combustible dust 
standard and other OSHA standards that address different features of 
the hazard, for example, the hazard communication, electrical, grain 
handling, and other standards noted earlier in section I(F) of this 
    The information currently available indicates that the risk of 
combustible dust explosions is considerable and that a single, 
comprehensive standard addressing all of these hazards will likely 
provide clarity for employers and increased safety for exposed workers. 
OSHA is requesting information and comment from the public to evaluate 
what regulatory action it should take to further address combustible 
dust hazards within the general industry standards.

II. Request for Data, Information, and Comments

    OSHA is providing the following questions to facilitate the 
collection of needed information and to facilitate public comment on 
relevant issues. OSHA invites commenters to respond to any questions 
for which they have specific knowledge, data, or information, 
regardless of their involvement with combustible dust, e.g., employer, 
employee, consultant, researcher, fire or building code enforcement 
official. Commenters also are encouraged to address any aspect of 
combustible dust safety that they believe would assist the Agency in 
considering appropriate regulatory action on the matter. OSHA requests 
that commenters provide a detailed response to questions, including a 
rationale or reasoning for the position taken, rather than simply 
replying "yes" or "no." Also, relevant data that may be useful to 
OSHA's deliberations, or that may assist it in conducting an analysis 
of the impacts of future Agency actions, should be submitted. To assess 
the costs, benefits, or feasibility of any possible regulatory 
intervention, the Agency needs specific quantitative information on 
various safety measures. Therefore, for those recommendations involving 
specific interventions, any data in terms of costs and benefits 
associated with the recommendation would be helpful. To assist it in 
analyzing comments, OSHA requests that commenters reference the 
question number to which they are responding.

A. Industry Background

    OSHA is interested in determining the extent of combustible dust 
hazards. The following questions address the extent of the hazards, and 
provide a context in which to understand your answers to subsequent 
    1. What business are you in? What NAICS industry or industries are 
you in?
    2. How many employees do you have? How many are production 
employees? How many employees work in areas where combustible dusts are 
present? What types of jobs do they perform?
    3. What is the area of your facility? What percentage of this area 
has combustible dusts normally present? What percentage is subject to 
possible fugitive dust accumulations?
    4. What type or types of combustible dusts are present?
    5. Would you expect other firms in your industry to have similar 
combustible dusts hazards or are the products or processes that 
generate combustible dust in your facility unusual for your industry? 

B. Definition of Combustible Dust

    No single, universally accepted definition of combustible dust is 
available. Even among standards promulgated by the same standards-
developing organization, the definitions vary significantly. NFPA 654 
and 655 define combustible dust in general terms without regard for 
particle size. This approach recognizes that factors such as particle 
shape, agglomeration, and other characteristics listed earlier in this 
notice, can affect explosibility. Other standards (such as NFPA 61, 
484, and 664) define combustible dust in terms of a minimum particle 
size. The definition in previous editions of NFPA 654 (which may still 
be used in some areas of the country) was also size-based.\19\ 
Furthermore, OSHA's grain standard uses a size-based definition for 
"fugitive grain dust."

    \19\ The 2006 edition of NFPA 654 explains in Annex section 
A.3.3.4 the reason that the previous size-based definition is no 
longer used: "Dusts traditionally have been defined as a material 
420 [micro]m or smaller (capable of passing through a U.S. No. 40 
standard sieve). Combustible particulates with an effective diameter 
of less than 420 [micro]m should be deemed to fulfill the criterion 
of the definition. However, flat platelet-shaped particles, flakes, 
or particles of fibers with lengths that are large compared to their 
diameter usually do not pass through a 420 [micro]m sieve yet still 
pose a deflagration hazard."

    Many different materials may form combustible dust, and several 
laboratory tests are available to characterize them. Some of these 
tests help determine a dust's basic explosibility. Other tests yield 
results on the degree of explosibility; these tests are useful for designers 
of built-in protective features or systems. In some cases, the hazards of certain 
dusts are widely known (for example, wood dust). In these cases, basic 
testing to determine whether the dust is explosive may not be 
necessary. OSHA is interested in data on the extent to which different 
materials are, or may form, combustible dust.
    6. Do you determine whether a dust is considered a combustible dust 
by reference to data, testing, or some other means? Please explain.
    7. What additional tests do you conduct to determine the level of 
combustibility of a particular dust?
    8. Do you have any dusts that you assume to be combustible, and, 
thus, preclude the need or expense of testing? If so, please indicate 
what type of dust.
    9. Certain definitions, in particular those definitions based on 
particle size alone, would not cover some materials that can present an 
explosion hazard in certain situations. Accordingly, identify any dusts 
that can explode that would not be included in your definition. Would 
your definition include some dusts for which explosions are very rare 
or unknown? If so, which ones?

C. Hazard Recognition

    The CSB report on its combustible dust hazard study, as well as the 
investigative reports of specific combustible dust incidents discussed 
above, show a pattern of employers and workers being either unaware of 
the hazards posed by combustible dust, or of the seriousness of the 
hazards. As a result, many workers were not adequately protected from 
these hazards. Employers who have recognized the hazards were made 
aware of them in a variety of ways. OSHA is interested in data on the 
contributions of in-house experts, outside consultants, insurance 
representatives, and local or State code authorities in improving 
awareness of the hazard.
    10. How did you become aware that you had combustible dust present 
in your facility?
    11. Who is responsible for determining if a dust is combustible? 
What expertise do they have?
    12. How do you determine if dust is combustible? Do you use 
published data, and if so, from what source? Do you sample dust for 
laboratory testing, and if so, how often? Do you rely on labels or data 
sheets, including MSDSs, developed by others? Do suppliers provide you 
with information related to combustible dust? Please explain.
    13. To what extent do the local code authorities, insurance 
representatives, or other outside experts determine the presence of 
combustible dust in your facility?

D. Hazard Assessment

    Hazard assessments are systematic approaches to evaluating a hazard 
and selecting control or mitigation methods. CSB's report on its 
combustible dust hazard study recommends hazard assessments as 
necessary for the mitigation of combustible dust hazards. It should be 
noted that NFPA 654 refers to a hazard assessment as a "Process Hazard 
Analysis." In addition to information about how employers perform 
hazard assessments, OSHA is also interested in the extent to which 
experts (both external and on-staff) are involved in hazard 
    14. Do you conduct assessments of combustible dust hazards? How 
often? What assessment method do you use? Describe the information you 
use in performing the assessment, as well as the information the 
assessment yields and how you use this information.
    15. On whom do you rely for technical assistance when performing 
the assessment? In-house staff, local/State authorities, insurance 
representatives, or consultants?
    16. How do you decide when outside expertise or assistance is 
necessary? How do you assess the capability of outside experts?
    17. Are your employees involved in the hazard assessment? Does 
their involvement improve the assessment? Does their involvement 
improve their understanding of the hazard and its mitigation?

E. Hazard Communication and Training

    OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), 29 CFR 1910.1200, 
comprehensively addresses the evaluation of the potential hazards of 
chemicals and the communication of hazard information to workers. 
Regarding dusts and other particulates, as with all chemicals covered 
by the HCS, a hazard evaluation must be conducted, taking into 
consideration all discernible hazards, including explosibility. It is 
incumbent upon manufacturers and importers to provide information on 
the potential for, and control of, combustible dusts.
    The HCS standard has three main components that are essential to 
the effective functioning of a program. First, chemical manufacturers 
and importers must review available scientific evidence concerning the 
physical and health hazards of the chemicals they produce or import to 
determine if they are hazardous. This procedure is called a hazard 
determination or hazard evaluation. Second, for every chemical found to 
be hazardous, the chemical manufacturer or importer must develop 
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) and container labels to be 
transmitted to downstream users of the chemicals. Employers are 
required to maintain an MSDS in the workplace for each hazardous 
chemical that they use. Third, all employers must develop a written 
hazard communication program and provide information and training to 
employees about the hazardous chemicals in their workplace.
    Regarding combustible dusts, anticipated operations, uses, and 
downstream material processing that generate dusts should be considered 
normal conditions when using a substance. These conditions include 
operations and uses such as abrasive blasting, cutting, grinding, 
polishing, or crushing materials; conveying, mixing, sifting, or 
screening dry materials; and the build-up of dried residue from 
processing wet materials.
    The HCS requires chemical manufacturers and importers to develop an 
MSDS for each hazardous chemical they produce or import. The following 
MSDS requirements are applicable to combustible dust hazards: Chemical 
and common names of the hazardous chemical and all ingredients 
determined to present a physical hazard, physical and chemical 
characteristics of the hazardous chemical, any generally applicable 
precautions for safe handling and use, any generally applicable control 
measures, date of MSDS preparation or last revision, and the name, 
address, and telephone number of the responsible party preparing the 
    During its combustible dust study, CSB reviewed MSDSs of 140 known 
substances that produce combustible dusts, and found that information 
regarding potential combustible dust hazards was poorly or inadequately 
transmitted to employers and workers; according to this report, 41 
percent of the MSDSs reviewed in the CSB study did not warn users about 
potential explosion hazards. Of the remaining 59 percent of MSDSs 
sampled, most of the information was not stated in a place or manner 
clearly recognized by employees, or not specific to hazards related to 
combustible dusts. The CSB concluded that many of the MSDSs did not 
identify the potential for combustible dust explosions that could 
reasonably have been anticipated during downstream material processing.
    Training is also a critical component of any program to control 
combustible dust and prevent fires and explosions. Employees need to 
understand the hazards, how to prevent the hazards, and what to do in the 
event of a fire or explosion.
    The following questions address MSDSs and training related to 
combustible dust hazards.
    18. Do the MSDSs you develop or use identify the risks associated 
with combustible dust hazards? Do they list mitigation measures? Are 
you aware of MSDSs that should identify combustible dust as a hazard 
and do not? If so, please explain.
    19. Do you communicate information on the risks of, and controls 
for, combustible dust hazards to your employees as a part of your 
hazard communication program?
    20. Do you train your employees on the hazards of combustible dust 
and its mitigation? Do you also provide refresher training? What is 
covered in each type of training that you provide? How many of your 
employees receive each type of training that you provide? How many 
hours of training is provided and at what frequency (on hire, annually, 
as needed)? Who provides the training? What are their qualifications? 
Do you use standardized training materials (such as films, books, and 
computer classes)?
    21. Do you have any means of determining if employees understand 
the training? Do you have any means of determining if employees are 
applying the training? If so, describe these means.

F. Consensus, Industry, and Insurance Standards

    Under the OSH Act, OSHA must consider the provisions of national 
consensus standards, such as those promulgated by NFPA, in its 
rulemaking efforts. In addition to this mandate, OSHA may consider 
standards that are not developed using the consensus- standards process 
when determining appropriate protective measures for employees. The 
following questions refer to these standards.
    22. Do you follow the provisions in NFPA standards for combustible 
dust? If so, which standards? Is this use voluntary, or based on 
mandates by local authorities, insurance carriers, or other entities? 
Do you have any difficulty in using the NFPA standards because of 
conflicting definitions, varying requirements, secondary references to 
other standards, or any other reason? If so, describe these 
    23. Do you use FM Global Property Loss Prevention Data Sheet 7-76, 
Prevention and Mitigation of Combustible Dust Explosions and Fires, as 
an aid in determining how to mitigate the hazards of combustible dust? 
Is this use voluntary or mandated by your insurance carrier?
    24. Are there any other standards or guides you use to address the 
hazards of combustible dust? If so, please indicate which ones, or 
describe them.

G. State and Local Codes

    NFPA standards carry the force of law when adopted by a 
jurisdiction (Federal, State, county, or municipal); these standards 
also can be mandated by an insurance company or other entity. In some 
cases, even when not mandated, employers comply with these standards 
(or portions of them) as a matter of policy. Many State fire codes 
contain mandatory references to NFPA's combustible dust-related 
standards either directly, or by the adoption of a model fire code. The 
two model fire codes used in this country (i.e., International Code 
Council's International Fire Code and NFPA's Fire Code) both mandate 
compliance with NFPA's combustible-dust-related standards. Despite the 
existence of consensus and insurance standards, and State fire codes, 
major incidents continue to occur, as described earlier in this notice.
    The CSB's 2006 report on its combustible dust hazard study 
concluded that State and local enforcement of NFPA standards was 
inadequate to protect workers. The reasons found include limited 
resources, insufficient training, and enforcement efforts that 
concentrate on facilities other than industrial facilities.
    OSHA's National Emphasis Program for combustible dust has resulted 
in many employers abating combustible dust hazards in their facilities. 
Some employers voluntarily upgraded their facilities, procedures, and 
policies based on outreach and guidance material made available by a 
variety of organizations (including OSHA) or in response to the 
publicity surrounding major dust explosions. These efforts increased 
worker and employer awareness of the benefits of complying with NFPA 
standards. Nevertheless, it is difficult to project trends for hazards 
that result in infrequent, major incidents such as combustible dust 
explosions. Because of the variability of the many components required 
for a significant combustible dust explosion, facilities can operate 
for decades without an incident, yet suffer a catastrophic event after 
a slight change in conditions. The following questions address 
enforcement issues involving combustible dust.
    25. Does the fire or building code (State, local, or other) in your 
area specifically address the hazards of combustible dust? If so, how?
    26. Has your facility been inspected by State or local authorities? 
Is this a regular occurrence? If so, at what frequency? Were these 
inspections initiated by the authorities, or did you take the 
initiative to contact them? Did the inspections include combustible 
dust hazards? Did the inspection officials have expertise on 
combustible dust hazards? What action did you take as a result of State 
or local inspections?
    27. Do you know if State or local enforcement efforts have been 
effective in controlling combustible dust hazards? If you have 
information on any studies of this issue other than the CSB's study 
(for example, studies conducted by insurance organizations, code 
authorities, trade associations, consultants, or unions), please 
provide information on them.

H. Engineering Controls

    Various methods of controlling occupational hazards fall into a 
hierarchy in order of their effectiveness. A typical hierarchy 
(beginning with the most effective method) is:
     Engineering controls.
     Administrative controls.
     Personal protective equipment.
    Administrative controls include work practices, personnel 
scheduling, operational procedures, and equipment maintenance. 
Engineering controls are fixed measures that are built into a facility 
or processing equipment to either remove a hazard (i.e., preventing it 
from occurring) or to minimize the effects of an incident (after a fire 
or explosion has begun). OSHA believes that, for combustible dust 
hazards, these two types of engineering controls may belong at 
different levels in the hierarchy. Those engineering controls that 
prevent the occurrence of an incident, hereinafter referred to as 
"primary engineering controls," belong where they are normally seen 
in the hierarchy; ahead of administrative controls. Those engineering 
controls that minimize deaths, injuries, or damage after a fire or 
explosion has begun, hereinafter referred to as "secondary engineering 
controls," may be more appropriately placed in the hierarchy after 
administrative controls. Therefore, OSHA has grouped the questions in 
this section into two categories: (a) Primary engineering controls, and 
(b) secondary engineering controls.
    Collectively, primary and secondary engineering controls often 
include features of building design, processing systems, ventilation systems, 
protective systems, and alarm systems. In NFPA 654, these provisions are not 
retroactive; that is, facilities, equipment, structures, or installations that 
existed or were approved prior to the standard becoming effective may remain as 
is. While retrofitting of most equipment is not mandated under this standard, it 
allows the authority having jurisdiction to require retrofitting of 
equipment or features in situations presenting an unacceptable degree 
of risk.
    If OSHA were to incorporate provisions for engineering controls in 
a combustible dust standard, it would need to address whether any of 
these controls should be (1) retrofitted for all existing facilities 
immediately, (2) mandated after a specified date or period (i.e., a 
delayed effective date), or (3) required only for facilities built 
after a specified date or period (i.e., a "grandfather" clause). The 
Agency is, therefore, asking the following questions regarding 
engineering controls.
    28. Do your facilities or equipment have any of the following 
primary engineering controls to mitigate combustible dust hazards? If 
so, describe in detail where they are installed and how they function 
to mitigate combustible dust hazards.
    a. Features to prevent escape of dust into unwanted areas.
    b. Features to prevent the accumulation of dust on surfaces.
    c. Oxygen concentration reduction.
    d. Dilution with noncombustible dust.
    e. Foreign material (such as tramp metal) separation devices.
    f. Monitoring and alarms for abnormal conditions.
    g. Automatic interlocks, shutoffs, or overflow systems.
    h. Manual emergency controls.
    i. Lightning protection systems.
    j. Features to mitigate the hazards of process heating systems.
    k. Features to mitigate the hazards of comfort heating systems.
    l. Features to mitigate the hazards of hot surfaces.
    m. Class II electrical equipment and wiring.
    n. Other mitigation features or engineering controls designed or 
built into your facility or processing equipment to prevent the 
occurrence of fires or explosions.
    29. Do your facilities or equipment have any of the following 
secondary engineering controls to mitigate combustible dust hazards? If 
so, please describe in detail where they are installed and how they 
function to help mitigate combustible dust hazards.
    a. Air-material separators (dust collection systems)
    b. Segregation with physical barriers.
    c. Separation by distance.
    d. Fire-resistant construction.
    e. Deflagration pressure containment.
    f. Deflagration suppression systems.
    g. Automatic fire suppression systems.
    h. Manual fire suppression equipment.
    i. Deflagration venting.
    j. Dust retention and flame arresting devices.
    k. Relief valves or devices.
    l. Abort gates or dampers.
    m. Isolation devices to preclude deflagration propagation.
    n. Evacuation alarm systems.
    o. Fire, heat, smoke, flame, or spark/ember detection systems.
    p. Other mitigation features or engineering controls designed or 
built into your facility or processing equipment to limit deaths, 
injuries, or damage after a fire or explosion has occurred.
    30. Do you feel that secondary engineering controls should be in 
the preferred hierarchy of controls after administrative controls? Why 
or why not? Please describe incidents where secondary engineering 
controls were effective or ineffective.
    31. How much did each fixed feature cost to install? Are there any 
special maintenance or operating costs associated with these features 
(such as energy costs, waste disposal costs, maintenance activities 
such as clean up)? Are there any other routine costs associated with 
these measures?
    32. How did you decide which of these features to provide in your 
facility? Were these features installed during the initial construction 
of the facility, or retrofitted at a later time?

I. Administrative Controls

    Typically, an OSHA standard includes provisions for administrative 
methods and work practices to control or mitigate a hazard. These 
provisions include operational procedures, portable equipment, 
equipment maintenance, or personal protective equipment. In NFPA 654, 
these types of provisions are retroactive, which means they apply to 
all facilities, both new and existing. The following questions address 
the use of administrative and work practice controls in your facility.
    33. Does your facility have any methods that prevent or limit the 
escape of dust? Please describe these methods.
    34. Do you have a program or policy specifically for cleaning 
surfaces to remove accumulated fugitive dust? What surfaces does this 
program cover? What is the frequency with which you remove dust from 
surfaces? Do you inspect hidden and non-work areas, such as ventilation 
systems, product or input storage areas, concealed spaces, areas above 
suspended ceilings, beams, and ledges, for fugitive dust accumulation?
    35. Do you have criteria or measures for what amount or level of 
fugitive dust accumulation is tolerable (such as a specific depth over 
a given area, inability to discern underlying color)? Please describe 
these criteria and measures.
    36. Do you use cleaning methods that preclude dust disbursal? Which 
methods do you use, and under what conditions? What methods do you 
prohibit, and why?
    37. Do workers' assignments, in whole or in part, involve cleaning 
dust from surfaces? How many workers perform this task, and how many 
hours per week do they spend on dust removal? Can the cleaning be done 
with minimal interruption of the facilities' operations?
    38. Do you implement ignition controls for any of the following 
ignition sources for areas where combustible dust may be present? If 
so, indicate which sources and provide details. Did you consult with 
your operational employees in developing these programs or policies? 
How do you assure that your programs or policies are followed by all 
relevant parties?
    a. Control of static electricity.
    b. Use of cartridge-actuated tools.
    c. Control of open flames and sparks (including cutting, welding, 
grinding, chipping).
    d. Control of smoking.
    e. Restrictions for hot surfaces.
    f. Use of powered industrial trucks (EX or DX designation).
    39. Do you have a program in place for the maintenance and testing 
of fixed facilities, equipment, structures, or systems? If so, please 
describe the program.
    40. Do you have or use any personal protective equipment specific 
to combustible dust hazards? If so, please describe the equipment, and 
the reasons for its use.
    41. Are any of your administrative or work practice programs or 
policies written? If so, please provide a copy of these written 

J. Emergency Response

    Fighting combustible dust fires, or fires near combustible dust 
hazards, presents unique hazards. If done incorrectly, risk of death 
and injury may rise for both employees and firefighters. For example, 
opening a containment system or using straight-stream nozzles can cause 
dispersion of dust, which can then become the fuel for an initial or
secondary fire or deflagration. The following questions address 
emergency-response procedures in your facility.
    42. Do you provide facility information to industrial fire brigades 
or other emergency responders for the purpose of assisting their 
efforts to respond to fires or explosions? If so, please describe the 
information you provide to them.
    43. Do you provide training to employees, industrial fire brigades, 
or other emergency responders on the hazards of fighting fires in 
combustible dust-producing facilities? If so, respond to the following 
questions, and provide details and explanation. Do you train these 
groups on combustible dust hazards and their mitigation? Do you also 
provide refresher training? What is covered in this training? How many 
people receive this training? How many hours of training is provided 
and at what frequency (on hire, annually, as needed)? Who provides the 
training? What are their qualifications? Do you use standardized 
training materials (such as films, books, and computer classes)? Do you 
have any means of determining if attendees understand the training? Do 
you have any means of determining if attendees apply the training after 
they receive it? Please describe any instances where the training 
provided affected the outcome of an incident.

K. Investigation of Incidents

    Much can be learned from combustible dust fires and explosions. In 
some cases, frequent minor incidents failed to garner the attention of 
employers, leading to complacency in the workplace. In other cases, 
minor incidents shielded the catastrophic potential of combustible dust 
    Many of the provisions included in the consensus standards 
addressing combustible dust have been refined over the years based on 
loss experience. Potentially, even more can be learned by studying 
incidents in which protective features effectively prevented death or 
injury, or incidents considered near misses. Some possible 
characterizations of near misses are situations under which a 
combustible dust cloud nearly ignited, a fire caused no deflagration or 
explosion, or a deflagration or explosion resulted in no injury or 
death. The following questions address your facility's responses to 
combustible dust fires, explosions, and near misses.
    44. Have you had any combustible-dust-related fires, explosions, or 
near misses? Is so, describe these incidents in detail, and indicate 
what changes were implemented to prevent a reoccurrence. How do you 
define or characterize a near miss?
    45. Are combustible-dust-related fires, explosions, or near misses 
investigated? If so, indicate how thoroughly, who performs them, and 
what professional qualifications they have. Do you document 
investigation results? If so, please provide examples of such 
    46. Does such a fire, explosion, or near miss cause a new hazard 
assessment to be conducted? Do these incidents cause you to review your 
engineering or administrative controls?

L. Regulatory Approach

    OSHA is considering a variety of regulatory approaches to eliminate 
or mitigate combustible dust hazards. Your comments on the following 
issues will help OSHA decide how best to protect workers effectively 
from combustible dust hazards.
    47. OSHA recognizes that the risk from combustible dust hazards 
varies with the type of material involved and the conditions present, 
the particular processes used at a facility, and the number of workers 
exposed. These hazards exist in facilities ranging from a woodworking 
shop with one employee to a large manufacturing plant with thousands of 
workers. Should OSHA scale its requirements to be more or less 
restrictive depending on either the size of, or type of dust present 
in, the facility? How should this scaling be done (i.e., how should the 
provisions of a standard be applied to different facilities)? Are there 
situations or conditions that should limit the provisions that apply? 
If so, please explain.
    48. Given the various definitions in the consensus standards, how 
should OSHA define combustible dust--by minimum particle size, without 
regard for particle size, or should the definition vary for the type of 
dust? Provide the technical basis for your response.
    49. Data indicates that mineral dusts (such as silicates, 
sulphates, nitrates, carbonates, phosphates, cement, salt, gypsum, 
sand, and limestone) are not explosible. Should OSHA exclude mineral 
dusts or any other dust from coverage? If so, which dusts? Please 
provide the technical data substantiating the lack of explosibility.
    50. Some dusts (such as wood dust) are widely understood to be 
combustible, and are explosible under a wide range of conditions. 
Should OSHA consider certain dusts explosible under any conditions, 
thereby precluding the need for testing? Alternatively, should OSHA 
permit employers to make this determination? If so, for which types of 
dust? Please explain your responses.
    51. The NFPA combustible-dust-related standards have some similar 
provisions, but also have some provisions that vary for different types 
of dusts. Other NFPA standards have provisions that apply only to 
specific dusts. Should an OSHA standard cover different types of dusts 
separately, together, or in some other manner? Please explain your 
    52. The approach suggested by the CSB and others contains many of 
the elements in OSHA's Process Safety Management (PSM) Standard. Should 
an OSHA standard take an approach similar to the PSM Standard, e.g., by 
requiring the development and implementation of a site-specific plan 
tailored to the facility and hazards in question? Please provide a 
rationale for your response.
    53. NFPA 654 contains a provision for combustible dust hazard 
assessment, which helps refine the actions required for adequate safety 
under the specific conditions present in a facility. OSHA recognizes 
that this approach may not be necessary for all types and sizes of 
facilities. For example, a small furniture shop may be able to safely 
operate under a fixed set of requirements for the well-understood 
hazards of wood dust. Should every provision of an OSHA combustible 
dust standard be addressed in a hazard assessment, or just provisions 
involving engineering controls? Should the hazard assessment vary 
according to the size or type of facility? Please explain your 
    54. It has been suggested that OSHA incorporate NFPA standards by 
reference to address combustible dust hazards. The Agency is concerned 
with a number of issues regarding this approach. These concerns 
include, but are not limited to:
    a. The scope of NFPA standards exceeding OSHA's mandate to protect 
only employees.
    b. The multitude of mandatory primary references, secondary 
references, and other subordinate references in each NFPA standard that 
could result in an unnecessary burden on employers.
    c. The differences between the various NFPA combustible-dust-
related standards.
    d. The frequent updating of standards by NFPA, making the OSHA 
standard outdated.
    e. The limited availability of older editions of NFPA standards.
    f. The difficulty involved in readily updating the consensus 
standards referenced in an OSHA combustible dust standard to the 
current or most recent edition of the consensus standards.
    g. The fact that OSHA cannot legally update NFPA or other consensus 
standards used in its rules by referring to the "current" or "most 
recent" edition of the consensus standards.
    How do you think the Agency should make use of NFPA standards in a 
prospective OSHA standard? If the NFPA standards are not directly 
incorporated by reference into the OSHA standard, would it be 
appropriate for the OSHA standard to reference NFPA standards as 
compliance alternatives (e.g., if an employer complies with the 
referenced NFPA standard applicable to an operation, OSHA would deem 
the employer to be in compliance with the applicable provision of the 
OSHA standard)?
    55. Outreach efforts (both public and private), employer awareness, 
and OSHA's enforcement have increased in response to various 
combustible dust incidents over the last decade. As a result, many 
employers continue to upgrade their facilities and update their 
operating procedures to prevent and control combustible dust hazards. 
Would an OSHA combustible dust standard increase employee safety beyond 
the level already attained through current Federal efforts, State and 
local requirements, and voluntary standards? What approach would most 
effectively increase the safety of employees? Please provide a 
rationale for your response.
    56. In 2003, OSHA concluded in its regulatory review that no 
significant changes were needed to OSHA's standard on Grain handling 
facilities at that time. Are any revisions needed to the portions of 
this standard that address fires and explosions? Are revisions to this 
standard necessary to harmonize it with the treatment of other dusts? 
Should the existing provisions of the standard that address fires and 
explosions be covered under a combustible dust rule? If OSHA retained 
the standard and issued a combustible dust standard that applied to 
other facilities and processes, would portions of your plant be covered 
by both standards? If so, would this present a problem? Please explain 
your response.
    57. OSHA anticipates that administrative and work practice controls 
would be included in a combustible dust standard. For instance, several 
OSHA standards already address the accumulation of fugitive combustible 
dust, but do not address the escape of dust. Some ignition sources are 
covered under current OSHA standards (such as electrical and powered 
industrial trucks), but other, easily controlled ignition sources, 
would likely be addressed in a prospective OSHA combustible dust 
standard (such as open flames, sparks, hot surfaces, static 
electricity, tools, and smoking). Engineering controls can be more 
costly and take longer to implement than administrative controls. 
Should an OSHA combustible dust standard have requirements for 
engineering controls to control fugitive combustible dust? Which 
engineering controls should or should not be required, and under what 
circumstances? Should OSHA require retrofitting of engineering 
controls, and if so, which controls? What time period should OSHA allow 
for retrofitting? What are the costs associated with retrofitting these 
    58. Workers are often in the best position to understand how 
processes work and the characteristics of the materials involved. 
Workers also may be in the best position to see how variations in 
procedures or equipment can affect their safety. Should operational 
employees participate in the development of engineering and 
administrative controls? Will this participation improve their safety? 
Please explain your response.
    59. Facilities, processes, and materials are subject to change over 
time. These changes can affect potential hazards, and, thereby, the 
means used to mitigate those hazards. If these changes are not examined 
to determine if corresponding changes in protection or prevention are 
necessary, worker safety could be decreased. Should change management 
be a component of an OSHA standard? Why or why not?
    60. A fire, explosion, or near-miss, could indicate that 
improvements are necessary to provide an adequate level of employee 
safety. Improvements may depend on the incident's severity or 
consequences. Should investigations of fires or explosions be a part of 
an OSHA combustible dust standard? Should a fire or explosion be 
classified for reporting purposes in terms of its severity, effect, 
size, or duration? If so, provide details. Should investigations and 
reporting of near-misses be a part of an OSHA standard? Please explain 
your response.
    61. Should an OSHA combustible dust standard address the hazards of 
fighting fires in combustible-dust-producing facilities? If so, should 
the standard address fire fighting by designated employees, an 
employer's industrial fire brigade, or other emergency responders? In 
your response, provide details on hazards specific to fighting fires in 
or near combustible dust.

M. Economic Impacts and Benefits

    As part of the process of developing a standard, OSHA must estimate 
the costs, economic impacts, and benefits of the standard. OSHA also 
analyzes the benefits of its standards in terms of reduced deaths, 
injuries, and property loss. The following questions will provide OSHA 
with needed economic impact and benefits information.
    62. What are the potential economic impacts associated with the 
promulgation of a standard specific to the hazards of combustible dust? 
Describe these impacts in terms of benefits from the reduction of 
incidents and injuries; effects on revenue and profit; and any other 
relevant impact measure. If you have any examples of estimates of the 
costs of controlling combustible dust hazards, please provide them.
    63. What changes, if any, in market conditions would reasonably be 
expected to result from issuing a standard on combustible dust? 
Describe any changes in market structure or concentration, and any 
effects on services, that would reasonably be expected from issuing 
such a standard.
    64. Would a comprehensive OSHA standard on combustible dust reduce 
fire and explosion hazards? How would an OSHA standard address any 
noncompliance problem (such as, noncompliance with the housekeeping 
standard or the GDC)?

N. Impacts on Small Entities

    In developing a standard, OSHA must determine whether it will have 
a significant impact on a substantial number of small businesses. If 
the standard has such impacts, OSHA is required to develop a regulatory 
flexibility analysis and assemble a Small Business Regulatory 
Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) Panel prior to publishing a proposal. 
Regardless of the significance of the impacts, OSHA seeks ways of 
minimizing the burdens on small businesses consistent with OSHA's 
statutory and regulatory requirements and objectives. OSHA has 
preliminarily determined that 330,000 small firms owning 351,000 
establishments and employing 6.5 million employees are in industries 
that experienced combustible dusts fires or explosions in the past.
    65. How many, and what type of small firms, or other small 
entities, have combustible dust hazards, and what percentage of their 
industry (NAICS code) do these entities comprise?
    66. How, and to what extent, would small entities in your industry 
be affected by an OSHA standard regulating combustible dust? Do special 
circumstances exist that make controlling combustible dust more difficult 
or more costly for small entities than for large entities? Describe these 

O. Compliance Assistance

    As indicated above, OSHA has provided outreach and guidance 
documents, and training, related to combustible dust hazards. Through 
the following questions, the Agency seeks information on the 
effectiveness and benefits of its outreach, guidance, and training 
efforts, as well as suggestions for future products.
    67. Are you familiar with any of the following guidance and 
outreach products OSHA has produced? Which of these products have you 
used as an aid in determining what to do about combustible dust in your 
    a. Safety and Health Information Bulletin--Combustible Dust in 
Industry: Preventing and Mitigating the Effects of Fire and Explosions.
    b. Web site Safety and Health Topics Page - Combustible Dust.
    c. Hazard Alert Fact Sheet - Combustible Dust Explosions.
    d. Poster - Combustible Dust - Does your company or firm 
process any of these products or materials in powdered form?
    68. What types of materials, products, or outreach would assist you 
and employees in addressing combustible dust hazards? Do small 
businesses have special needs with respect to the form or content of 
such materials? Would dust-specific or industry-specific materials be 
    69. Do you prefer paper publications such as booklets, fact sheets, 
and quick cards, or electronic tools such as OSHA safety and health 
topics pages and eTools?

III. Public Participation

    Submit comments in response to this document by (1) hard copy, (2) 
fax transmission (facsimile), or (3) electronically through the Federal 
Rulemaking Portal. Because of security-related procedures, a 
significant delay may occur in receiving comments by regular mail. 
Contact the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-2350 for information about 
security procedures concerning the delivery of materials by express 
delivery, hand delivery, and messenger service.
    All comments and submissions are available for inspection and 
copying at the OSHA Docket Office at the Technical Data Center, Room N-
2625, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, 
DC 20210. Comments and submissions are also available at http://www.regulations.gov.
OSHA cautions commenters about submitting personal information such as 
Social Security numbers and birth dates. Contact the OSHA Docket Office at 
(202) 693-2350 for information about accessing materials in the docket.
    Electronic copies of this Federal Register notice, as well as news 
releases and other relevant documents, are available at OSHA's Web 
page: http://www.osha.gov/index.html.

IV. Authority and Signature

    This document was prepared under the direction of Jordan Barab, 
Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, 
U.S. Department of Labor, pursuant to sections 4, 6, and 8 of the 
Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 653, 655, 657), 
29 CFR part 1911, and Secretary's Order 5-2007 (72 FR 31160).

Jordan Barab,
Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. E9-25075 Filed 10-20-09; 8:45 am]