At first glance, it may be difficult to imagine how a catastrophe in the food and beverage industry could cause far-reaching effects for managers of document destruction facilities. However, in February 2008, that unlikely scenario came to fruition when a fire erupted at an Imperial Sugar factory.
On Feb. 7, 2008, an explosion and fire at an Imperial Sugar plant in Port Wentworth, Ga., killed 14 workers and injured several more. News reports indicated that the explosion was caused by the accumulation of massive amounts of sugar dust within the facility.
As a result of the tragic fire, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revised and reissued its Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program (CDNEP). OSHA enacted the original CDNEP in October 2007, but after the Imperial Sugar plant fire just a few weeks later, the regulatory agency reissued the CDNEP in March 2008. Among the most significant changes to the program were increased inspections and enforcement.
“OSHA revised the Combustible Dust NEP to focus on industries with more frequent and high-consequence dust incidents, and to include more inspections,”
According to an OSHA spokesman, the agency “has found more than 4,900 violations at the facilities inspected pursuant to the Combustible Dust NEP,” which includes dust-related violations as well as others. He adds that the average number of violations per NEP inspection is 6.5 in federal enforcement compared to 3.1 for other types of inspection.
Although there are costs to upgrading dust collection equipment, doing so now may ultimately save a company money in the long run, especially with increased compliance regulations, according to Jeremiah Wann, president of Jackson Center, Pa.-based dust collection equipment manufacturer Imperial Systems Inc.
“There has been a huge push by OSHA to force companies handling combustible dust to clean up their operations,”
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About Imperial Systems, Inc.
Imperial Systems, Inc. is a leader in the dust collection industry, specializing in offering custom design, fabrication and complete package systems. Visit our website: www.isystemsweb.com or call 800-918-3013 to speak with one of our experienced sales reps.
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Imperial Systems, Inc. is a leader in the dust collection industry. We specialize in offering custom design, fabrication and complete package systems.