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Trump Administration Nixes Combustible Dust Rule Inspired by Imperial Sugar Plant Explosion


The Trump Administration’s quest to eliminate important worker safety regulations continues, with the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) indicating last month that it would abandon a proposed rule intended to prevent plant explosions and fires associated with combustible dust.

OSHA proposed the combustible dust rule in the wake of the deadly Imperial Sugar refinery explosion and fire. The February 2008 blast near Savannah, Georgia killed 14 workers and injured 38 others, many of whom sustained life-threatening burns.

Our Undefeated Plant Explosion Lawyers Successfully Represented 25 Workers Injured in the Imperial Sugar Refinery Explosion

Our Undefeated Plant Explosion Lawyers represented 25 of the workers burned in the Imperial Sugar refinery explosion, and were able to negotiate highly-favorable, confidential settlements on their behalf.

Investigators with the U.S. Chemical Safety Board determined that the Imperial Sugar disaster was “entirely preventable,” and blamed the tragedy on massive accumulations of combustible sugar dust throughout the packaging building. The Board’s investigation also revealed that Imperial Sugar had been aware of the combustible dust hazard in the decades prior to the explosion.

“This accident was caused by poor equipment design, poor maintenance and poor housekeeping,” CSB Chairman John Bresland said at the time. “If the dust was not allowed to build up, this terrible accident would not have happened and we would not have had the terrible injuries that we saw.”

The Imperial Sugar explosion prompted OSHA to initiate rulemaking to develop a combustible dust standard for general industry. Late last month, however, the Trump Administration indicated that it was withdrawing the combustible dust rulemaking from its Unified Agenda, which reports on regulatory and deregulatory activities under development for the coming year.

“OSHA is withdrawing this entry from the agenda at this time due to resource constraints and other priorities,” the Administration said.

Trump Administration Delays Chemical Disaster Rule, Eyes Elimination of Chemical Safety Board

The abandonment of the combustible dust standard is just the latest example of regulatory cutbacks that will endanger the lives of workers at pipelines, plants, and refineries throughout the United States.

Earlier this year, for example, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it was delaying enactment of the Chemical Disaster Rule, another regulation aimed at preventing deadly plant and refinery explosions.

On July 24th, Attorneys General from 11 states, including New York, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, challenging the delay. Among other things, the states’ lawsuit cited the deadly 2013 Williams Olefins plant explosion in Geismar, Louisiana as proof of the rule’s necessity.

Our Louisiana Explosion Lawyers  recently obtained highly-favorable and confidential settlements on behalf of more than 60 workers injured in the Williams Geismar explosion.

The Administration has also proposed eliminating the Chemical Safety Board, which is tasked with investigating major chemical explosions.

Contact Our Undefeated Explosion Lawyers for a Free, No-obligation Case Review: Call 1888-603-3636 or Click Here

In just the past five years alone, our Undefeated Plant Explosion Lawyers have recovered more than $1 billion representing the victims of every major industrial accident in recent history.

Recently, for example, our Experienced Explosion Attorneys also recovered over $100 million for workers injured in a plant explosion, one of the largest such settlements in history. The settlement followed a three-year battle on the part of the facility’s owner and its attorneys to cap our clients’ recovery at less than $50,000 in workers compensation benefits.

Our Pipeline Explosion Lawyers also recently filed a lawsuit in Harris County District Court on behalf of two workers who were severely injured during the Phillips 66 explosion that occurred in Paradis, Louisiana on February 9, 2017.

Click here to read Ryan Zehl’s interview with the Houma Times regarding the Paradis explosion.

Our Firm has also successfully represented injured workers in connection with the:

  • BP Texas City Explosion
  • BP Deepwater Horizon Explosion
  • Williams Gibson Explosion
  • International Paper Explosion

All case consultations are free and, as our attorneys only work on a contingency basis, our clients pay nothing unless we win your case.

If you or a loved one suffered serious or life-threatening injuries in a plant, refinery, or pipeline explosion, call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here for a Free, No-obligation Consultation with our Undefeated Explosion Lawyers.