OSHA on Friday issued a new safety and health instruction detailing the agency’s policies and procedures for inspecting workplaces that handle combustible dusts and that may have the potential for a dust explosion.

The new National Emphasis Program focuses on the fire and explosion hazards that may exist at facilities where combustible dusts accumulate. Combustible dusts are often either organic or metal dusts that are finely ground into very small particles, fibers, chips and/or flakes, according to OSHA.

Such dusts can come from metal, wood, plastic and organic materials such as grain, flour, sugar, paper, soap and dried blood. Dusts can also come from textile materials.

Industries in which combustible dusts are particularly prevalent include agriculture, chemical, textile, forest and the furniture industry.

The instruction gives detailed information on OSHA's inspection scheduling, resource allocation, inspection resources and procedures, and is useful in helping businesses achieve compliance with OSHA requirements.

The instruction is available electronically on OSHA's Web site athttp://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/Directive_pdf/CPL_03-00-006.pdf.