This CSB photo shows the aftermatch of the dust explosion and fire on Feb. 20, 2003, at the CTA Acoustics manufacturing plant in Corbin, Ky. killing seven workers.

Miller Still Pushing for OSHA Combustible Dust Rule

He proposed an amendment Feb. 27 to the All Economic Regulations Are Transparent Act (H.R. 2804) that would have exempted the regulation from the act's requirements, but it was defeated.

U.S. Rep. George Miller has not given up his battle to see OSHA finalize new combustible dust regulations. Having already announced he is retiring from Congress at the end of this session, Miller, D-Calif., tried Feb. 27 to amend a Republican bill so it would not impede OSHA's action on comdust. In a vote along party lines, Miller's amendment was defeated as the U.S. House of Representatives voted 236-179 to pass the All Economic Regulations Are Transparent Act (H.R. 2804).

OSHA published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking several years ago, and the rulemaking process continues. Democrats on the House Education and the Workforce Committee introduced bills several times after the 2008 explosions at an Imperial Sugar refinery in Port Wentworth, Ga., with the aim of requiring OSHA to enact a standard. Miller joined other Democrats on the committee to introduce these, but they did not become law.

U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, chairman of the House Rules Committee, said the Alert Act and other measures passed by the House in the final week of February will stop the Obama administration’s abuse of power. "House Republicans are committed to holding the Obama administration accountable for circumventing Congress and the constitutional lawmaking process," Sessions said in a Feb. 28 statement posted on the committee's website. "The administration’s abuse of power and excessive regulation stifles job creation, weakens our economy, and threatens Americans' trust in our government. Currently, total regulatory burden costs Americans nearly $1.8 trillion per year. In 2013 alone, new federal regulations added $112 billion in indirect costs to the economy and increased the paperwork burden by 157.9 million hours. This massive burden of regulation is harming families and small businesses across our country. Yet, at the end of 2013, the Obama administration was considering the implementation of 4,000 new federal regulations."

Miller called the measures "misguided." He said the Alert act "will would impose layers of red tape and erect new obstacles to protecting American lives. Despite the clear need to move forward, this bill would give special interests new ways to block vital protections from combustible dust. The sad truth is that the underlying bill is nothing more than an effort to put the powerful above the lives and limbs of working families -- and their widows."

Miller offered another amendment, co-sponsored by Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., to exempt regulations that have been recommended by federal agencies' inspectors general from the Alert act. This amendment also was defeated.

"Inspectors general are the taxpayers' independent watchdogs. They perform an investigative role that is above politics, seeking to find out what's gone wrong and what should be done to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government," Miller said. "This bill's lengthy list of additional procedures would add years to the rulemaking process and significantly hamstring the federal government's ability to adopt regulations that protect taxpayers in a timely manner. My amendment would ensure that this bill does not compromise the ability of agencies to protect taxpayers from waste, fraud, and abuse."

Download Center

  • Industrial Premium Library

    Empower your workforce with the manufacturing, industrial maintenance, operations, HSE, compliance, and professional development skills they need to complete their tasks efficiently and safely. Not only will you boost productivity, reliability, skills, and morale but you’ll also onboard faster, and retain your best employees while meeting regulatory standards. Vector Solutions offers over 1,800 award-winning eLearning courses designed to keep your employees safe, transfer knowledge of fundamentals, and develop industry and job-specific skills that reduce downtime, maintenance costs and more.

  • Safety Metrics & Insights Webinar

    EHS professionals have been tackling the subject of how to best measure performance for many years. Lagging indicators like the Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) and Days Away Restricted Transfer Rate (DART) are a good place to start, but you shouldn’t forget about the leading indicators that your workforce does every day to prevent incidents from occurring. Learn about some of the most common KPIs of safety programs and how Vector EHS Management software can be used to track these metrics in this webinar.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively. Download this guide for details on risk matrix calculations including severity, probability, and risk assessment.

  • OSHA Recordkeeping Guide

    In case you missed it, OSHA recently initiated an enforcement program to identify employers who fail to electronically submit Form 300A recordkeeping data to the agency. When it comes to OSHA recordkeeping, there are always questions regarding the requirements and ins and outs. This guide is here to help! We’ll explain reporting, recording, and online reporting requirements in detail.

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program

  • Vector Solutions

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - September 2022

    September 2022

    Featuring:

    • ESG
      EHS Will Guide Future ESG Success for Many Organizations
    • MACHINE GUARDING
      Handling Material Handlers: Training Beyond PIT Requirements
    • EHS SOFTWARE
      The Missing Link with EHS Software
    • HEARING PROTECTION
      Noise Surveys from the Trenches
    View This Issue