The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) to solicit public feedback on issues related to the hazards of “combustible dust” in workplaces, including agricultural and grain handling industries, and factories that manufacture food, animal food, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals.

OSHA defines combustible dust as “all combustible particulate solids of any size, shape, or chemical composition that could present a fire or deflagration hazard when suspended in air or other oxidizing medium.” Materials that can form combustible dust include wood, coal, plastics, biosolids, candy, sugar, spice, starch, flour, feed, grain, fertilizer, tobacco, paper, soap, rubber, drugs, dried blood, dyes, and
certain textiles and metals. OSHA will accept comments on the proposed rule until January 19, 2010. See Federal Register, October, 21, 2009.

About The Author

For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.