Combustible Dust Hazard at Flour Mill

Friday, January 30, 2015 @ 05:01 PM gHale

Grain dust accumulation, in the right combination of particle size, air and an ignition source, can expose workers to possible explosions or combustible dust hazards, according to citations issued to Minsa Corp. by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Minsa is now facing $151,200 in fines for 33 serious violations, including exposing workers to electric shock, OSHA said. Minsa employs 75 workers at the Muleshoe, TX, location.

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“Dust accumulation exists in many industries including flour, feed, grain and sugar, (requires) these employers to implement a standard housekeeping policy,” said Elizabeth Linda Routh, OSHA’s area director in Lubbock. “It is the employer’s responsibility to find and fix hazards that could harm workers.”

Violations included internal parts of electrical equipment ended up contaminated with foreign materials, unused openings in a breaker box did not closed properly and an uncovered junction box exposed workers to live electrical parts. Additional serious violations include workers exposed to dangerous machinery, blocked emergency exit routes and falls from a platform lacking a guardrail. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

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