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Myth Busters: Understanding OSHA Combustible Dust Regulations

Posted on August 9, 2016

Nilfisk’s Myth Buster series starts here with Understanding OSHA Combustible Dust Regulations. View the video here!


Myth: There is no OSHA regulation on combustible dust, so I don’t have to worry about inspections and fines.

Fact: Even though OSHA has not yet released a formal regulation on combustible dust, you can still be held accountable for safety violations and receive stiff penalties.

As a guideline for inspecting facilities and evaluating combustible dust hazards, OSHA inspectors are trained to use the Combustible Dust NEP – that stands for National Emphasis Program.

A National Emphasis Program is a set of policies and procedures created by OSHA to respond to situations they believe may risk the health and safety of workers.

OSHA’s Combustible Dust NEP lists 18 different standards that can be used to inspect and cite workplaces that create and handle combustible dusts.

These standards cover everything from electrical systems and ventilation to housekeeping regimens.

And you can even be cited when inspectors find hazards not addressed by the NEP.

In those cases OSHA turns to the General Duty Clause of the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1970.

This clause mandates that employers provide a workplace free from recognized hazards that are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.

Basically, if combustible dust hazards are present at your facility and not properly mitigated, the inspector can assume risk and serve you with a citation.

Every day, OSHA hands out hefty fines for housekeeping violations related to the handling
of combustible dust.

Get all the facts you need so that you can make the safe choice.

Click here to download a complete Combustible Dust Mythbusting Guide.