This news update on Workers exposed to combustible dust is brought to you by OSHA.
Workers were exposed to combustible cornstarch dust, dust particles in excess of permissible exposure limits and other hazards at Septimus Inc. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited the company for 21 serious safety and health violations, carrying proposed penalties of $46,400. A complaint prompted the inspection at the facility, which processes cornstarch for use in laundry detergent and other products.
“Combustible dust can burn rapidly and explode with little warning, putting workers at risk for severe injury and death,” said Thomas Bielema, OSHA’s area director in Peoria. “OSHA’s inspection found that Septimus used potential ignition sources, like forklifts and electrical equipment, in areas where combustible dust was present.”
OSHA’s April 30, 2014, inspection found workers were exposed because processing and dust collection equipment lacked protective covers. If this dust is suspended in the air in the right concentration, under certain conditions, it can become explosive. The inspection found the company operated powered industrial vehicles in poor repair that were not rated for use in environments where combustible dust was present. These vehicles, along with numerous electrical violations, provided potential ignition sources for the dust. The force from such an explosion can cause employee deaths, injuries and destruction of buildings. The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board identified 281 combustible dust incidents between 1980 and 2005 that led to the deaths of 119 workers, 718 injuries and numerous extensively damaged industrial facilities.
For more information on workers exposed to combustible dust please visit the OSHA link above. Please contact nexreg for MSDS Services.