The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has a “statutory, Congressionally-mandated task to address the sufficiency of OSHA and EPA regulations. That is a key obligation of the CSB and I intend to continue pursuing this mandate vigorously,” said CSB Chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso.

At a July 25 public meeting in Washington, D.C., members of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) addressed the sufficiency of OSHA regulations, declaring the response by OSHA to seven long-standing recommendations – on combustible dust, fuel gas and the Process Safety Management standard – to be “unacceptable.” The board also voted to make the adoption of a combustible dust standard for general industry to be the first priority of its recently established “Most Wanted Safety Improvements” program, which will result in stepped-up advocacy for the measure. 

“Over the years, the CSB has made a number of recommendations to OSHA in the aftermath of tragic accidents that have killed dozens of workers, injured hundreds more, and caused millions of dollars in property damage,” said Moure-Eraso. “We are particularly concerned with the lack of action on a much-needed combustible dust standard.”

Insufficient progress has been made, he said, adding, “Many years have passed in some cases, without a definitive OSHA response.”

The vote by the board designating OSHA’s responses to be “open-unacceptable” means that it strongly believes these recommended regulatory changes are still needed to save lives and prevent accidents in the chemical industry. At the same time, the board voted to keep the recommendations’ status as “open,” because of OSHA’s comments that the agency may consider action in the future.