The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is not likely to push forward on a comprehensive combustible dust standard in 2016 due to the complexity of the hazard and an already robust regulatory agenda, according to a report by Brian Dabbs in Bloomberg BNA.

OSHA had earlier targeted August for initiating a Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) review on combustible dust in the fall 2015 regulatory agenda, but so far the agency hasn’t indicated a commitment to advancing the rulemaking.

According to the Bloomberg BNA report, OSHA officials haven’t attended National Fire Protection Association meetings on combustible dust standards-making for at least 18 months. NFPA standards are widely viewed as industry benchmarks for dust deflagration and explosion.

OSHA continues to enforce a set of specific industrywide and sector-specific standards that may be used to cite combustible dust hazards, ranging from surface safeguards to mandates for grain handling facilities. The agency released an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking on combustible dust in late 2009, and held meetings for the ensuing several months. But following the consultations, the agency hasn’t moved forward.

OSHA didn’t comment on a timetable for combustible dust rulemaking in 2016 or its collaboration with industry to craft a template for a proposal. Proposed rules often are released following the completion of the SBREFA process.

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