Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.1000

June 6, 1989

Mr. Franklin T. Lassiter
Executive Director
Kentucky Forest Industries Association
310 Kings Daughters Drive, #7
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601

Dear Mr. Lassiter:

This is in further response to your letter dated February 27 to Senator McConnell concerning regulating employee exposure to wood dust.

The term engineered dust removal equipment means that some type of engineering control must be used to reduce employee exposure to wood dust to a level below 5 mg/m3. Most often, the engineered method is an exhaust ventilation system with hoods placed at points where the dust is produced. No specific tools are used for this purpose but often an employer will engage a ventilation contractor to properly design and install the system.

Each employer is responsible for determining, designing or purchasing, and installing engineering controls which adequately limit employee exposure levels in his particular workplace. An OSHA Area Office will typically review an employer's engineering controls in connection with an inspection if the airborne wood dust exceeds the Permissible Exposure Limit. If the OSHA Area Office determines that an employer has not instituted feasible engineering controls for preventing or reducing employee overexposure to wood dust, a citation would be issued.

The amount of the assessed penalty would be dependent upon the classification of the violation. A serious or other than serious violation would result in a penalty of up to $1000.00 per violation. A willful violation, in which there is an intentional or deliberate disregard for OSHA standards, would result in a penalty of up to $10,000 per violation. These penalties would be adjusted based upon the size of the firm, good faith exhibited during the inspection, and the firm's previous inspection history.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 encourages States to assume responsibility for their own occupational safety and health programs under a plan approved and closely monitored by Federal OSHA. The Kentucky Labor Cabinet is operating under such a man and is responsible for regulating safety and health hazards in the State's workplaces. As a condition of plan approval, when new Federal occupational safety or health standards are promulgated, States are required to adopt and enforce their own "identical" or "at least as effective" standards within 6 months. The address and telephone number for contacting the State about its program for regulating occupational exposure to wood dust are:

Kentucky Labor Cabinet
U.S. Highway 127 South
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
Telephone:(502) 564-3070

We appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns. If You have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,

Alan C. McMillan
Acting Assistant Secretary





April 25, 1989

Mr. Franklin T. Lassiter
Executive Director
Kentucky Forest
Industries Association
310 Kings Daughters Drive #7
Frankfort, Kentucky 50601

Dear Mr. Lassiter:

This is an interim response to your letter of February 27, addressed to Senator Mitch McConnell, concerning wood dust.

We are gathering the information required to address your concerns fully and will be providing a complete response shortly.

Sincerely,

Alan C. McMillan
Acting Assistant Secretary





February 27, 1989

Honorable Mitch McConnell
U.S. Senate
Suite 120
Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator McConnell:

Thank you so much for your assistance in helping the U.S. Forest Products Industry to reach a compromise in the airborne wood dust standards proposed by OSHA in July, 1988. As you know, a compromise of 5 mg/m3 was negotiated from the 1 mg/m3 initial proposal by OSHA. The Kentucky Forest Industries Association was pleased that this compromise could be reached.

Mr. Bob Bartley, Homer Bartley Lumber Co., Horse Cave, Ky., has contacted me concerning the new limit and asked that I contact you on a couple of points.

1. The regulation calls for engineered dust removal equipment placement by December 30, 1992. What would be considered engineered dust removal equipment?

2. After December 30, 1992, it will be the mills' responsibility to prove that engineering controls aren't technically feasible to avoid installing them. Who would determine feasibility and what would be OSHA's course of action if the mill could not prove to their satisfaction that engineering controls weren't feasible?

3. In OSHA's opinion, what tools are needed to engineer safely such things as suction systems in problem areas (i.e., headrig, debarker, edger, etc.)?

4. Finally, what penalties are going to be set if compliance is not reached which in some instances may be extremely difficult.

I await your reply and will pass your information on to my membership.

Sincerely,

Franklin T. Lassiter
Executive Director


Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents