Earlier in 2008 OSHA issued directive CPL-00-008, Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program. This program is meant to induce industry to develop a greater awareness of dust explosion hazards via the threat of greater scrutiny by OSHA inspectors.

Dust explosion hazards have been poorly appreciated by plant operators in a wide range of industries. The recent explosion at Imperial Sugar in Port Wentworth, GA, on February 7, 2008, has helped to raise awareness both from regulators and plant operators. Part of the problem has to do with a poor understanding of the explosibility of dusts generally, and with the lack of data on the explosibility of a great many common products in particular. Safety consultants I know have been busy with clients from the sugar refining field. It caught their attention.

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