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Safety And Security

Combustible dust explosion is fourth in seven years

April 14, 2010
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KREAMER, PA — A recent sawdust explosion in a silo at Wood-Mode Inc. is the fourth combustible dust incident in seven years for the company, according to the Daily Item.
Using the recent history of Wood-Mode as a microcosm for the industry as a whole, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) suggests that combustible dust is a serious industrial hazard warranting immediate attention, the story stated.
According to the story, none of the recent combustible dust explosions, which date back to 2003, have resulted in injuries or deaths.
OSHA''s online database shows only two inspections at Wood-Mode in recent years and no citations or investigations have been issued or scheduled, the story noted.
Thomas Morgensen, a spokesman for Wood-Mode, said: "We had a fire and explosion Monday around midnight in one of our sawdust silos. The storage silo caught on fire and it had resulted in an explosion that basically caused the roof to come off, which is designed to do so ... it did fall on an employee''s car."
Though OSHA does not have any specific standards on combustible dust hazards, something they are in the process of establishing, they do require employees have personal protection measures for employees in place, the story added.
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