New bill introduced to protect workers from combustible dusts

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Congressman John Barrow introduced his first piece of legislation to the new Congress that would require the U.S Occupational Safety and Health Administration to regulate combustible dusts in the workplace. The Worker Protection Against Combustible Dust Explosions and Fires Act was presented in an effort to protect factory workers from the dangers posed by combustible dusts.

"I visited the Imperial Sugar facility last week and saw the steps they've taken to improve their facility. But thousands of other factory workers around the country are at risk of a similar disaster," said Congressman Barrow in a news release. "Other manufacturers need to improve their safety programs as well. That's why I introduced a bill in the House today that will finally provide our factory workers with the protections they deserve."

The bill will require OSHA to issue rules regulating combustible dusts, like sugar dust, that can build up to hazardous levels and explode.

Under existing law, it would take OSHA years to adopt rules necessary to regulate combustible dusts, even though, the dangers have been well known for years. The bill introduced by Barrow gives OSHA an accelerated means for quickly adopting new ways to implement safety procedures to protect workers.

"Worker safety is an issue that transcends partisan lines. It's time to act together, pass this bill, and send it to the President to sign into law," Barrow added.

he Worker Protection Against Combustible Dust Explosions and Fires Act previously passed the House of Representatives, but was never brought up for a vote by the Senate.

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