I’ve had an ongoing conversation with a member over the past two days on the subject of wood dust and OSHA inspections and fines. I’ll copy what he’s written below, both for archive and for information:

“ISWONLINE — Last month, ready-to-assemble furniture manufacturer… was fined $108,700 and cited for six repeat violations and six serious violations stemming from a Jan. 20 inspection of its manufacturing plant in Tiffin, OH. Many of the alleged violations involved potential dust hazards, including failure to maintain and install spark detection and suppression equipment in several of the plant’s dust collectors.”
On our Facebook Fan Page:
“First Choice Industrial, LLC is currently gathering a list of resources to share with our woodworking machinery customers, regarding OSHA’s interest in wood dust, and we are happy to share what we have so far . . .
For a clearer understanding of the dangers of combustible dust, woodworking professionals and hobbyists alike should view Combustible Dust: An Insidious Hazard—a very informative video produced by the CSB U. S. Chemical Safety Board (an independent federal agency investigating chemical accidents to protect workers, the public, and the environment)
Additional “must review” resources for woodworkers, regarding combustible dust safety information include . . .

• OSHA Fact Sheet (PDF) : Hazard Alert: Combustible Dust Explosions … See More

• National Fire Safety Protection Association: NFPA 664 Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Explosions in Wood Processing and Woodworking Facilities

• CabinetMaker FDM Article by Karl D. Worth Are You Ready for Combustible Dust

We also suggest Ask The Experts, http://pbs.canon-experts.com/expert/rob-williamson/ where woodworkers can submit their dust collection & pollution control questions to Rob Williamson, the Technical Director of Dantherm Filtration.

We have active links to all of the above resources listed on our Word Press Blog at http://firstchoiceindustrial.wordpress.com/
“”Also, be aware of the safety violations regarding dust collection in woodworking facilities that are commonly sighted:
• improper explosion protection for dust collectors located inside of buildings
We all have a one or two bag stand alone dust collector somewhere in the plant. We took it out of the box and plugged it in. We even empty the drum and clean the filter bag when it needs it. Does this dust collector require “proper” explosion protection? What would that protection look like?

• improper prevention of dust buildup on horizontal surfaces
• improper maintenance and design of dust collection systems
• improper inspection of hidden areas where dust can buildup
• inadequate ductwork to maintain at least 4500ft./min velocity
• inadequate cleaning routines of walls, floors, ducts, pipes, filters, and beams”
Getting the wood manufactured into a product and installed is enough of a challenge. I don’t have time to read and interpret 1,000 pages on dust. That’s my 2 cents.”