OSHA Reissues National Emphasis Program on Combustible Dust

This article is taken from the Feb. 3, 2023 National Grain and Feed Association newsletter.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a revised Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program (NEP) on Jan. 27 to continue inspections of facilities that generate or handle combustible dust likely to cause fire, flash fire, deflagration and explosion hazards.

OSHA’s incident reports indicate that the majority of industries involved in combustible dust hazards are involved in wood processing, agricultural and food production, and lumber production.

This revised NEP replaces the March 2008 directive and remains in effect until OSHA issues a cancellation notice.

It does not replace another similar OSHA directive referred to as the grain handling facility directive that certified safety and health officials must follow if the facility is covered under the Grain Handling Standard (29 CFR1910.272).

Grain elevators, feed mills, flour mills, rice mills, dust pelletizing plants, dry corn mills, soybean flaking operations, and the dry grinding operations of soycake are all within the scope of the Grain Handling Standard.

However, the new NEP may cover operations involving grain processing that are outside the scope of the grain handling directive. This includes wet corn milling and grain and field bean merchant wholesalers.

Feed mills, flour mills and sugar refineries are all included in the NEP, while soybean National Grain and Feed Association 5 Return to contents February 3, 2023 processing facilities are not included.

All industries with a “heightened potential of combustible dust hazards” are listed in Appendix B (pages 43-45) of the NEP. NGFA is continuing conversations with OSHA for further clarification on the NEP and standards that would apply during an inspection.

For more info on Combustible Dust: and Explosion Hazard, click here.