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Washington Labor & Employment Wire » Worker Protection Against Combustible Dust Explosions and Fires Act (H.R. 849)

Worker Protection Against Combustible Dust Explosions and Fires Act (H.R. 849)

Core Provisions: This legislation would require the Secretary of Labor to issue interim and final occupational safety and health standards regarding worker exposure to combustible dust. Introduced one year after a combustible dust explosion at Imperial Sugar in Port Wentworth, Georgia killed 14 workers and injured more than 60, and one day after six workers were injured in a coal dust explosion at a suburban Milwaukee power plant, the legislation directs OSHA to issue interim rules on combustible dust within 90 days and final rules within 18 months. The new rules will be modeled after National Fire Protection Association standards. The legislation also directs OSHA to revise the Hazard Communication Standard to warn workers about the hazards of combustible dusts.

Status: Reps. Miller (D-CA), Barrow (D-GA), and Woolsey (D-CA) introduced the legislation on February 4, 2009, and it was referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.  In the 110th Congress, the House passed similar legislation in April 2008 by a vote of 247-165.