On July 29, 2008, Mr. John S. Bresland, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety. He noted that since 1998, the year that the CSB was established, three out of the four deadliest accidents that they had investigated were determined to be combustible dust explosions. Thirteen workers died, and 39 were injured, at the Imperial Sugar refinery on February 7, 2008. Twenty-three people were burned from the fire and explosion, three of which were still hospitalized in a burn center after five months of treatment. At West Pharmaceutical Services in Kinston, North Carolina, six workers were killed, and 39 injured in a polyethylene dust explosion on January 29, 2003. The fuel for the explosion was a fine plastic powder, which had accumulated above a suspended ceiling over a manufacturing area at the plant and had ignited. And, at CTA Acoustics, Inc. in Corbin, Kentucky, seven people were killed and 37 were injured on February 20, 2003. This incident severely damaged a manufacturing plant of 302,000 sq. ft., and temporarily shut down four Ford Motor Company vehicle manufacturing plants for a time. Combustible phenolic resin dust had accumulated throughout the facility, and was the fuel for the explosion.
In November, 2006, the CSB completed a study on combustible dust. The CSB found that combustible dust explosions have been a recurrent cause of disasters at U.S. industrial facilities. Their study, which did not include primary grain handling or underground coal dust explosions, identified 281 dust fires and explosions that occurred at U.S. businesses between 1980 and 2005. These fires and explosions resulted in 119 deaths and 718 injuries. The Board called for a comprehensive Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulatory standard to prevent dust explosions in general industry; improved training of OSHA inspectors to recognize dust hazards; and improvements to Material Safety Data Sheets to better communicate dust hazards to workers.