Rules lag as factory dust explosions kill workers

Rules lag as factory dust explosions kill workers

Posted:

By TRAVIS LOLLER
Associated Press

NASHVILLE (AP) - Each year, people are killed and maimed by explosions of finely powdered wood, metal or chemicals at factories around the country. Safety experts have studied the threat posed by dust at industrial sites for almost a decade, yet tighter regulations are still years away.

Among the reasons for the delay are a cumbersome rulemaking process and disagreement among federal agencies about how to best tackle the problem.

Experts and grieving family members say they're frustrated it's taken so long to beef up protections at factories that are susceptible to dust explosions.

Combustible dust has been linked to at least six deaths at factories this year, 5 of them in separate accidents at a Tennessee plant that makes metal powders for automotive and industrial uses.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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