First Phase of MSHA’s Respirable Coal Mine Dust Rule Goes into Effect

The landmark regulation will be phased in over the next two years

Implementation of the landmark regulation aimed at preventing black lung disease began on Aug. 1, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). The regulation titled “Lowering Miner’s Exposure to Respirable Coal Mine Dust, Including Continuous Personal Dust Monitors,” was released on May 1 and will be phased in over the next two years at all surface and underground coal operations.

“August 1 marks the beginning of a healthier future for coal miners in American,” said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health in a statement. “Miners can have greater confidence that the air they breathe at work will not destroy their lungs.”

The final rule lowers miners’ exposure to coal dust, substantially increases operator sampling for respirable coal mine dust, and requires immediate corrective action when an operator’s sample shows excessive concentrations.

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