The omissions of combustible dust fire and explosion hazards from the May 19, 2011 OSHA National Emphasis Program – Primary Metal Industries may prove to be a costly error in terms of future fatalities and injuries in the workplace. http://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/Directive_pdf/CPL_03-00-013.pdf
For example, prior to the May 20 Foxconn aluminum dust explosion in Chengdu, China stakeholders were informed of the combustible dust housekeeping and ventilation hazards in a SACOM report. http://sacom.hk/archives/837 The main problem in the SACOM research report is that the aluminum dust hazards were solely highlighted as industrial hygiene issues. This is in a similar light and analogous to the recent OSHA Primary Metals NEP
Many international news outlets received information about the SACOM report immediately following it's release. For instance, the Huffington Post published an article on May 6, 2011 with mention of the aluminum combustible dust hazards yet in the vein as an industrial hygiene problem.
Currently, the Huffington Post is the third most actively read online news outlet trailing MSN and CNN., yet head of the New York Times and Fox News. http://www.alexa.com/topsites/countries;1/US To exacerbate the situation, on May 13, 2011 the International Metalworkers Federation (IMF) published on their website an article for their 25 million membership concerning the aluminum dust industrial hygiene issues at Foxconn. http://www.imfmetal.org/index.cfm?c=26530&l=2
It's ironic that on the same day the IMF news release was published, OSHA was conducting a Combustible Dust Expert Forum which included organized labor subject matter experts affiliated with the International Metalworkers Federation (IMF). https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AgXCwzOQ_F0wdDdQQ3RBVU5kej... Yet no one recognized the combustible dust fire and explosions hazard in the IMF news release. This fact, in no way is placing blame anywhere but just to provide a higher level of global situational awareness on a very complex topic.
The point is, that tens of thousands around the world were informed about aluminum combustible dust hazards at Foxconn several weeks before the catastrophic explosion. The problem is and such is the case now with the current OSHA Primary Metals NEP that the attention is solely directed at industrial hygiene. This could prove to be a deadly and costly error in the future.