Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at

February 21, 1978

Charles L. Burstein, M.D.
840 Ocean Drive
Juno Beach, Florida 33408

Dear Dr. Burstein:

Thank you very much for your letter of January 10, 1978, expressing concern over the grain elevator explosions and fires which occurred recently on our Gulf Coast.

Although our investigations into the causes of the accidents have not yet been concluded, we have taken action to alert the grain elevator industry of known and suspected hazards associated with grain elevator operations.

We are presently studying the effects of new technology introduced into the industry in recent years such as high speed belts and dry dust being reintroduced into the elevator, and the possible relationships to atmospheric conditions. We are hoping that the combined efforts of industry, Government, labor and knowledgeable and concerned citizens like yourself will result in determining the causes of these tragedies and bring an early solution to end them once and for all.

Your kind offer and expression of concern is greatly appreciated. I am enclosing a copy of the above mentioned alert to the industry. I believe you may find this of interest.


Eula Bingham
Assistant Secretary
Occupational Safety and Health