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Hazard Communication Guidance for Combustible Dusts: OSHA Brochure #3371-08
Last Updated: 12/30/2009
Combustible dusts are fine particles that present an explosion hazard when suspended in air under certain conditions. A dust explosion can cause catastrophic loss of life, injuries, and destruction of buildings. The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) identified 281 combustible dust incidents between 1980 and 2005 that led to the deaths of 119 workers, injured 718, and extensively damaged numerous industrial facilities.
More recently, additional incidents have occurred. On February 7, 2008, a sugar dust explosion and subsequent fire at a sugar refinery in Port Wentworth, Georgia, caused 14 deaths and left many other workers seriously injured with severe burns. In many of these incidents, workers and managers were unaware of the potential for dust explosions, or failed to recognize the serious nature of dust explosion hazards.
The CSB reviewed Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) of 140 known substances that produce combustible dusts and found poor or inadequate transmittal of information regarding potential dust hazards; 41% of the MSDSs reviewed by the CSB did not warn users about potential explosion hazards. Of the remaining 59% of MSDSs sampled, most of the information was either not stated in a place or manner clearly recognized by workers, or was not specific to hazards related to combustible dusts (CSB, 2006).

Resource Attachments:   12/02/2009: 353371combustibledust.pdf

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