Once started, government agencies become self-perpetuating. Such is the case with the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).
OSHA was created in 1970 during the Nixon Administration with the best of intent; to protect American workers’ health. But like allgovernment agencies, OSHA is also motivated to grow and increase its power base.
One of OSHA’s new endeavors is to” protect workers from the potential hazards of combustible dust. Posted below is the recap of this issue included on OSHA’s website that states; “Any combustible material (and some materials normally considered noncombustible) can burn rapidly when in a finely divided form.” Translation; this law covers nearly all manufactures and businesses. Now that conveniently increases OSHA’s power!
Controlling the potential for dust explosions in a worksite is not a trivial task. It requires expensive dust collection and containing systems be installed, a very clean environment, electronic spark controls and with OSHA, reams of red tape and paperwork. This will cost American businesses billions. Given the current economic challenges that companies face, many businesses cannot afford the additional costs and this will lead to increased unemployment. But that is of little concern for OSHA. Some other governmental agency will take care of the unemployed, creating yet more work for government employees.
Most manufacturers create safe working environments. However, it is not possible to eliminate all risks and still produce products that consumers can afford.
Can dust explosions be dangerous? Of course, however, in OSHA’s own words: “Such incidents have killed scores of employees and injured hundreds over the past few decades.” It sure doesn’t sound like the problem is worthy of OSHA’s broad actions. ….. There they go again, sending more jobs to China.
Occupational Safety & Health Administration Website Statement:
“Any combustible material (and some materials normally considered noncombustible) can burn rapidly when in a finely divided form. If such a dust is suspended in air in the right concentration, it can become explosive. The force from such an explosion can cause employee deaths, injuries, and destruction of entire buildings. Such incidents have killed scores of employees and injured hundreds over the past few decades.
Materials that may form combustible dust include metals (such as aluminum and magnesium), wood, coal, plastics, biosolids, sugar, paper, soap, dried blood, and certain textiles. In many accidents, employers and employees were unaware that a hazard even existed.
A combustible dust explosion hazard may exist in a variety of industries, including: food (e.g., candy, sugar, spice, starch, flour, feed), grain, tobacco, plastics, wood, paper, pulp, rubber, furniture, textiles, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, dyes, coal, metals (e.g., aluminum, chromium, iron, magnesium, and zinc), and fossil fuel power generation.”