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Region 5 News Release: 10-344-CHI
March 16, 2010
Contact: Brad Mitchell or Scott Allen
Phone: 312-353-6976

US Labor Department's OSHA schedules combustible dust stakeholder meetings in Chicago to address workplace hazards

CHICAGO -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has scheduled its latest informal stakeholder meetings to continue soliciting comments and suggestions for protecting workers from combustible dust hazards in the workplace. Since 1980, more than 130 workers have been killed and more than 780 injured in combustible dust explosions.

This set of meetings is the third in a series addressing combustible dust hazards. The first meetings were held in Washington, D.C. A second meeting was held in Atlanta to facilitate participation by families of victims of the Feb. 7, 2008, explosion at an Imperial Sugar Co. plant in Port Wentworth, Ga., which killed 14 workers and resulted in OSHA issuing nearly $8.8 million in penalties.

OSHA will consider participants' comments in developing a proposed standard for combustible dust.

The Chicago meetings will be held April 21 at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. CDT at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O'Hare Hotel and Conference Center, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont, Ill. A Federal Register notice is available at http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=FEDERAL_REGISTER&p_id=21395

Combustible dusts are solids ground into fine particles, fibers, chips, chunks or flakes that can cause a fire or explosion when suspended in air under certain conditions. Types of dusts include metal (aluminum and magnesium), wood, plastic or rubber, coal, flour, sugar and paper, among others.

Individuals interested in participating must register by submitting a n