OSHA expands combustible dust program

Truss manufacturing is among the industries that could have combustible dust hazards.
a row of wooden benches sitting on top of a bench
OSHA says truss manufacturing along with resawing lumber, and planing are industries with a higher likelihood of having combustible dust hazards.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a revised Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program (NEP) to continue OSHA inspections of facilities that generate or handle combustible dusts likely to cause fire, flash fire, deflagration and explosion hazards, the National Lumber and Building Materials Dealers Association (NLBMDA) reported. 

The Combustible Dust NEP was revised based on enforcement history and combustible dust incident reports and sets forth a new approach for locating and inspecting subject establishments. In 2018, wood and food products made up an average of 70% of the materials involved in combustible dust fires and explosions. Incident reports indicate that the majority of the industries involved in combustible dust hazards are wood processing, agricultural and food production and lumber production, but others are susceptible as well.

Notably, for NLBMDA members, the updated NEP now includes the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes for Cut Stock, Resawing Lumber, and Planing and Truss Manufacturing as industries with a higher likelihood of having combustible dust hazards.

This means that these industries, along with Lumber, Plywood, Millwork, and Wood Panel Merchant Wholesalers, are now additional targets for OSHA inspections concerning combustible dust. OSHA offers a variety of options for employers looking for compliance assistance.

The On-Site Consultation Programprovides professional, high-quality, individualized assistance to small businesses at no cost. OSHA also has compliance assistance specialists in most of their 85 Area Offices across the nation who provide robust outreach and education programs for employers and workers. NLBMDA members can find and contact OSHA’s regional and area offices by clicking here.

Visit OSHA’s Combustible Dust website, view the Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program, and read the official OSHA press release for more information.