Showing posts from October, 2014

DC Circuit rejects challenge to OSHA Hazardous Communication Standard


DC Circuit rejects challenge to the revised OSHA Hazardous Communication Standard
From: Blog Gravel2Gavel Construction Law Blog
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Anthony B. Cavender
October 27 2014
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On October 24, 2014, the D.C. Circuit rejected a challenge to the revised OSHA Hazardous Communication Standard insofar as it applies to "combustible dust". The case is National Oilseed Processors Association, et al., v. Occupational Safety & Health Administration, et al.  The Standard was substantially revised in 2012 to conform with the Globally Harmonized System, a uniform international chemical labeling system. The Hazard Communication, 77 Fed. Reg. 17,574 (Mar. 26, 2012) ("Final Rule") designated "combustible dust" as a hazardous chemical subject to the
Standard, although OSHA has yet to develop a workplace standard addressing the hazards of combustible dust in the workplace. This decision may be of intere…

HazCom Rule Addresses Combustible Dust

Bloomberg BNA

"There is a “general consensus” on what constitutes combustible dust"

"The final rule, as well as a guidance document issued in 2013, “lay out reasonably consistent and
clear instructions” on how employers should decide whether they have a combustible dust hazard, the judge said."

HazCom Rule Can Address Combustible Dust, Court Says in Rejecting Industry Challenge
Monday, October 27, 2014 from Daily Labor Report®

Oct. 24 — A federal appeals court denied a petition Oct. 24 to vacate the Occupational Safety and
Health Administration's Hazard Communication Standard as it applies to combustible dust.

The petitioners argued that the Hazard Communication Standard—a final rule—should be vacated because OSHA failed to give adequate notice that combustible dust would be included in the rule and that combustible dust should instead be addressed in a pending rulemaking on the subject. They also told a three-member panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Dis…

OSHA Stalls on Combustible Dust, NFPA Prepares New Standards

From Composites Manufacturing Magazine

OSHA Stalls on Combustible Dust, but NFPA Prepares New StandardsSeptember 25, 2013
OSHA’s combustible dust rulemaking has been delayed, while the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is adding a new standard to address hazard  identification and control. These were key messages presented September  20 at a Small Business Administration event attend by ACMA staff.

The dust from grinding or cutting even highly filled composite laminates is  “combustible” when tested using OSHA’s approved test methods. OSHA has cited several composites manufacturers for failure to comply with the current version of NFPA Standard 654, notably for poor housekeeping and
locating cyclones and other dust collection equipment indoors.

Under OSHA’s National Emphasis Program for combustible dust, the agency is enforcing NFPA standards while it develops its own combustible dust rule. NFPA 654 is the standard for preventing fire and dust explosions …

Explosion, two-alarm fire at wood pellet manufacturer

Explosion, two-alarm fire damages Banks wood pellet manufacturerBy Everton Bailey Jr. |
on July 31, 2014 at 8:37 PM, updated August 01, 2014 at 6:16 AM 

A wood pellet manufacture in Banks closed for the day after an explosion and two-alarm fire damaged the business early Thursday.

Four employees safely escaped the fire at West Oregon Wood Products on Northwest Sunset Avenue, said Banks Fire District  Chief Brian Coussens. The official cause of the explosion and fire are
still under investigation. The business creates wood pellets for stoves.

The incident was reported about 3:15 a.m., and the business' president, Mike Knobel, said equipment related to air filtration in the pellet creation process is suspected to have caused the explosion.

Several pieces of production equipment sustained severe fire-related damages, Coussens said. The blaze was extinguished with no injuries.

Knobel said he was grateful to the responding firefighters and that millwrights were…

Idaho Wood Pellet Plant Burns to Ground | Firehouse

Wood Pellet Plant Burns to Ground in Idaho Kathy Hedberg On Aug 5, 2014
Source: Lewiston Tribune, Idaho

Aug. 05--GRANGEVILLE -- A wood pellet manufacturing building was destroyed by fire late Monday about a mile north of here along U.S. Highway 95.

The main production building owned by Rocky Canyon Pellet Company caught fire about 6 p.m. Monday, said Grangeville Rural Fire Chief Danny Tackett, and burned to the ground within less than three hours. The company makes pellets for wood stoves.

"It had a head start on us," Tackett said Monday night. "There was a lot of dust inside the building. It was an old building; it used to be an old horse barn."

This is the fourth time in the past eight or nine years, Tackett said, that the fire department has been called to a fire at the location.

Adjacent buildings, including a residence, were not harmed, he said, and no one was hurt in the fire. Equipment and stacks of pellets inside the building burned in the blaze, he s…

Three injured in wood pellet mill explosion

Three injured in Burns Lake wood pellet mill explosion (updated)By TIFFANY CRAWFORD and ROB SHAW, VANCOUVER SUNOctober 9, 2014 One man suffered third-degree burns and two other employees were injured in an explosion at a wood pellet plant in Burns Lake on Thursday. Leroy Reitsma, president of Pinnacle Renewable Energy plant said a "fire-related incident" happened at the Burns Lake mill, located on Highway 16 east of Burns Lake, at around 8 a.m. Photograph by: Pinnacle Renewable Energy, ...
One man suffered third-degree burns and two other employees were injured in an explosion at a wood pellet plant in Burns Lake on Thursday.

Leroy Reitsma, president of the Pinnacle Renewable Energy plant said a “fire-related incident” happened at the Burns Lake mill, located on Highway 16 east of Burns Lake, at about 8 a.m. He said the fire broke out inside of some equipment used to dry wood fibre and it caused an explosion.

Pinnacle has been fined on several occasions for safet…

OSHA Penalties Force Pet Food Manufacturer to Close

OSHA Standards, Penalties, Force Illinois Pet Food Manufacturer to Shutter Posted: October 15, 2014, 9:55 a.m. EDT
All-Feed Processing and Packaging Inc. can’t afford to pay the penalties OSHA has levied for numerous safety violations and is now closing its doors.

In May, the agency hit All-Feed with $254,000 in fines for exposing workers to combustible-dust and respiratory hazards.

"Having spent basically every penny that we have to come into compliance, there’s just nothing left for the citations, said Tim Anderson, owner of All-Feed, whose factory is located in Galva and main
office in Alpha, Ill.

The company will continue production for two or three months to fulfill existing contracts with its customers; however, the company won’t take on any new contracts, Anderson added.

All-Feed provides grinding, cleaning and packaging services to the pet-food industry, and it also offers R&D services such as granulation, dehydration, roasting and separation for new products or pac…

Tips to extinguish factory fire risks

5 tips to extinguish factory fire risks

From PropertyCasualty360

5 tips to extinguish factory fire risks Oct 13, 2014 | By Caterina Pontoriero

Last week was National Fire Prevention Week, which commemorates the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 that killed an estimated 300 people, left 100,000 homeless, and destroyed more than 17,000 structures. In honor of Fire Prevention Week, Zurich presents tips to prevent factory fires.

A factory fire can spell devastating consequences for a company and its employees. A fire at a factory or manufacturing facility can result in loss of life, injured workers, loss of wages from a factory shutdown, and production downtime. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), property losses at U.S. factories total nearly $1billion each year.

Factory fires can be caused by three common factors: hot work, combustible dust, or hydraulic fluid leaks. "Hot work" is defined as any process that can be a source of ignition when flammable material…

Biomass is more highly regulated than most people realize

US Industrial Pellet Association conference wraps with impassioned producer panel


USIPA conference wraps with impassioned producer panel By Tim Portz | October 03, 2014

From L to R: Seth
Ginther, Executive Director of the U.S. Industrial Pellet Association,
Morten Neraas, President and CEO Green Circle, and Harold Arnold,
President of Fram Renewable Fuels.
Tim Portz, BBI International

The 2014 Export Pellets Conference concluded with a panel comprised of a selection of the producer members of the U.S. Industrial Pellet Association, moderated by the organization’s executive director, Seth Ginther.

The session began with brief updates from each of the producers about their accomplishments and activities from the previous year.

Joining the panel for the first time and introducing himself to the conference delegation was E-Pellets Group CEO Doug Albrecht. E-Pellets recently acquired the formally boarded up Louisiana Pacific OSB mill in Athens, Georgia, to conve…