Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents|
| Standard Number:||1910.22; 1910.301|
March 12, 1985
Ms. Inge Lundstrom
National Board of Occupational Safety
Chemistry Section 3
Dear Ms. Lundstrom:
This is in response to your letter of February 18, addressed to the Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health.
You asked in your letter for information about dust explosions in powdered milk production. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not have any specific standards that could be applied to the powdered milk industry, however, many of OSHA's General Industry (GI) Standards (copy enclosed) might be used to control dangerous situations in that industry. For example, it is believed that many explosions in industries like the powdered milk industry are caused by large accumulations of dust. This situation is covered, in a general fashion, by OSHA's housekeeping standards (in the GI standards at 1910.22(a)(1)). It is also thought that careful attention to electrical ignition sources may reduce the number of explosions that occur in industries which tend to generate dusty conditions: OSHA's standards for electrical applications in the workplace (Subpart S of the GI standards which begins at 1910.301) may be helpful in eliminating or lowering the possibility of explosions triggered by improper wiring or grounding. OSHA conducts regular inspections in all industrial sectors to assure that its standards are being followed. Failure of companies to adhere to the OSHA standards is subject to enforcement action which may include issuance of citations and/or penalties.
I am also enclosing, for your information, documentation about an explosion at a powdered milk production plant that took place in 1980, details of which may be of interest to you. If I may be of fur