OSHA Grainhandling Standard
Since OSHA issued its standard in 1987, every grain elevator and grain mill facility is required to maintain a “housekeeping plan” to ensure that dust emissions are kept to a safe level, which was defined as 1/8th of an inch, with periodic “housecleaning” recommended. A relatively large amount of new equipment and technology was encouraged by the standard, along with safer work practices (like banning cigarette smoking from areas where dust threatened to accumulate).
Affected work sites include grain elevators, feed mills, flour mills, rice mills, dust pelletizing plants, dry corn mills, soybean flaking operations, and the dry grinding operations of soycake.
Cry Wolf Quotes
Each grain handling facility is unique, and the state of the art is constantly changing. Further, historically very little scientific research has been done on some of the fundamental questions involved in grain dust explosions.
Our concern is that too many regulatory bodies are reacting to this need and that divergent or contradictory rules would be established which would in effect create chaos for the designers, builders and operators.
Research shows that no one level of dust is more hazardous than another -- it's a combination of factors… We think the record shows elevators of various size are using a variety of options to reduce explosions.
[OSHA has] substantially overstated the risks of fires, explosions and other hazards…the costs of the rule greatly exceed the benefits.
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