Combustible Dust

Category archives for Combustible Dust

Why US coal miners are still developing black lung disease

In Hawk’s Nest Redux, Ellen Smith reports that an apalling number of the 29 deceased Upper Big Branch coal miners had black lung disease. The autopsy evidence was reported at the end of one chapter of the investigation report prepared by an independent panel of investigators commissioned by the Governor of West Virginia.* Smith compared…

One reporter from the radio world, Howard Berkes at National Public Radio (NPR), and the other from the print world, Ken Ward, Jr. at The Charleston Gazette have submerged themselves in interview transcripts from witnesses involved in the emergency response on April 5, 2010 at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch mine. About two dozen transcripts…

OSHA cracks down (sometimes) on worker deaths in grain elevators

Monique Harper, 41, had a beautiful smile that family and friends will never forget. “Monique was the most hilarious and free-spirited person you will ever meet,” said one of her sisters. “She was a mother that loved her children, family and friends.” Monique Harper’s contagious smile and free spirit are now only memories. She was…

True or false: Vast majority of employers care deeply and passionately about their employees

Imagine testifying before a congressional committee as the head of the FDIC and you’re asked “do the vast majority of banks care deeply and passionately about their customers?” Or as the head of the FAA and you’re asked “do you think the vast majority of airlines care deeply and passionately about their passengers?” Or the…

Labor Dept reveals plan for worker health and safety regulations

By the end of 2011, the Labor Department’s worker safety agencies expect to issue six new rules to better protect workers from on-the-job hazards. In the Department’s regulatory plan issued yesterday, OSHA projects it will finalize four rules while MSHA expects to complete two new standards. As I’ve written before, these plans quickly become stale…

MSHA issues emergency rule to prevent coal dust explosions

MSHA announced today that it will be issuing on September 23 an emergency temporary standard (ETS) to improve a practice to prevent coal dust explosions. The rule addresses “rock dusting”—-the decades old practice of generously applying pulverized limestone dust throughout a coal mine to dilute the potential power of a coal dust explosion. As NIOSH’s…

Perplexed by OSHA’s latest reg agenda

Beginning in December 2006, I’ve written five blog post commenting on the content of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) regulatory agenda for worker health and safety rulemakings. Most of my posts [see links below] have criticized the Labor Secretary and senior OSHA and MSHA staff for failing to offer a bold vision for progressive worker…

Labor Secretary announces regulatory priorities for worker health and safety

Last week Labor Secretary Solis released in the Federal Register on April 26, 2010, her Spring 2010 regulatory agenda for the Department, including her rulemaking priorities for MSHA and OSHA. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act it was published on time in April, in contrast to her Fall 2009 agenda which was six weeks…

CSB’s public relations ploy?

by Ken Ward, Jr.,  cross-posted from Sustained Outrage: a Gazette Watchdog Blog During a public hearing last night in Georgia, the federal Chemical Safety Board tried to answer critics who complained the board had backed off its strong recommendation that the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) write new rules to protect workers nationwide…

WTOC in Savannah, GA is reporting that Georgia’s Senators, Republicans Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss, are calling on OSHA to issue a regulation to protect workers from the dangers related to combustible dust.  WTOC says that the Senators were brief today by officials of the Chemical Safety Board on the causes of the Feb. 7, 2008, explosion at the Imperial Sugar refinery that…