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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

OSHA News Release: [11/17/2009]
Contact Name: Diana Petterson
Phone Number: (202) 693-1898
Release Number: 09-1424-NAT

US Department of Laborís OSHA schedules stakeholder meetings on combustible dust hazards

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will hold two stakeholder meetings on Dec. 14 to discuss combustible dust workplace hazards.

The meetings will be held at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. EST at the Marriott at Metro Center located at 775 12th St. NW in Washington, D.C.

OSHA will use comments from these meetings and responses to an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in developing a comprehensive standard addressing fire and explosion hazards of combustible dust.

Since 1980, more than 130 workers have been killed and more than 780 injured in combustible dust explosions, including a Feb. 7, 2008, explosion at an Imperial Sugar Co. plant in Port Wentworth, Ga., that killed 14 people.

"Workers are dying from combustible dust explosions, and it must stop," said acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jordan Barab. "Worker safety must be a priority, and we are committed to enforcing effective standards to prevent a repeat of these tragedies."

The meetings' agenda will include discussions on possible regulatory approaches and the role of consensus standards. For more information on preparing for a stakeholder meeting, visit http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=FEDERAL_REGISTER&p_id=21185.

Notices of intent to participate may be sent via facsimile to 781-674-2906 or by regular mail to ERG Inc., 110 Hartwell Ave., Lexington, MA 02421. Either way, notices should be marked "Attention: OSHA Combustible Dust Stakeholder Meeting Registration." Alternatively, electronic registration is available at: http://www2.ergweb.com/projects/conferences/osha/register-osha-stakeholder.htm.

Additional meetings are planned for early 2010 and will be announced in future notices.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach and education. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.