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Atlanta Attorney Speaks During OSHA Meeting

Howard Mavity of Fisher Phillips Addresses Combustible Dust Issues
2.18.10

ATLANTA, GA (February 18, 2010) - Atlanta attorney Howard Mavity, who co-chairs the Workplace Safety and Catastrophe Management Practice Group for Fisher Phillips , spoke during the OSHA Stakeholders Meeting held in Atlanta, Georgia on February 17. As part of its rulemaking process for the proposed Combustible Dust Standard, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration has solicited comments from representatives of industry, employers and professional groups. This rulemaking process resulted from the Imperial Sugar explosion which killed 14 people near Savannah two years ago and the subsequent Congressional action.

OSHA has since conducted approximately 2000 inspections and found more than 5000 violations involving employers in almost every industry that falls under the ongoing Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program.

Mavity has been involved in many high profile combustible dust cases, and has developed corporate compliance strategies in response to the hundreds of OSHA inspections which have occurred as part of the agency's current National Emphasis Program on Combustible Dust and Congressional Instruction.

Mavity told the gathering that he often visits facilities that generate combustible dust, and few fully meet the National Fire Prevention Association standards, which OSHA seeks to enforce. He said bringing the facilities up to current standards would be an improvement but he estimated the cost would range from $600,000 to $800,000 each. Some participants at the meeting provided examples of costs that could reach $30 million.

Mavity said, "As demonstrated by other participants' comments, few businesses are not affected by these expensive requirements, and many do not even realize their exposure."

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