Even without a combustible dust standard, OSHA can fine companies for failing to provide appropriate fire and explosion protection from combustible dust.
OSHA has fined All-Feed Processing & Packaging, Inc., $758,450 following an inspection at its Galva, IL, pet food production and packaging facility.
All-Feed now faces the following citations:
- nine per-instance willful citations for failing to mandate the use of respirators for six workers exposed to dust in excess of the permissible exposure limits; and failing to protect three dust collection units, which collect combustible dust such as starch, potato base, cellulose fiber and pea protein, from fire and explosion hazards
- four single-instance willful citations for requiring employees to work in areas where they were exposed to total dust in excess of permissible limits, and failing to implement adequate engineering controls when employees were exposed; failing to administer a continuing and effective hearing conservation program for employees exposed to excessive noise; failing to ensure the safe use, wiring and installation of equipment in hazardous locations; and allowing the use of liquid propane-powered industrial trucks in atmospheres where combustible dust may be ignited; the fines for the 13 willful violations total $700,700
- three repeat safety violations for failing to ensure that operators of powered industrial trucks had completed training and were evaluated on their skills, have the load rating affixed to lifting devices and post danger signs to warn exposed employees of potential dangers posed by work spaces involving hazardous conditions; one repeat health violation for failing to post safety instruction signs indicating the presence of combustible dust; the company was cited for similar hazards in 2009; the fines for the four repeat violations total $50,050
- one serious safety violation, with a proposed fine of $3,850, for failing to have written certification that all hazards in the permit-required confined space had been eliminated, and
- five other-than-serious violations, with proposed fines of $3,850, for failing to record work-related injuries and illness as required on the OSHA 300 log.
OSHA previously issued citations to All-Feed following a powerful dust explosion and fire at this facility in 2009.
The company has 15 days to decide whether to contest the fines.