Sustained Outrage

OSHA has no timeline for combustible dust rule

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis — the “new sheriff” that the labor community hoped would protect American workers — has no timeline for when her Occupational Safety and Health Administration might get around to issuing a rule to deal with the dangers of combustible dust. See previous coverage of this issue here, here, here, here and here.

I asked OSHA officials during a webchat earlier this week on the agency’s regulatory agenda:

When might we expect to actually see an OSHA standard on combustible dust?

Their answer:

OSHA is not able to project an estimate for when we will publish a proposed standard on combustible dust. The next step in the rule making process is to initiate the SBREFA panel review, which is currently estimated for December.

Hilda Solis has said such a standard is “long overdue,” but so far her agency hasn’t even set a goal for when it might even propose a combustible dust standard. And OSHA seems to keep falling farther and farther behind on this … the last time they issued a regulatory agenda, the SBREFA panel was to be convened in April 2011. Now it’s December 2011 …