MSHA Seeks Input on Retrospective Study of Respirable Coal Mine Dust Rule

MSHA aims to solicit comments, data, and information from stakeholders to assist in developing the framework for a study to assess the dust rule’s health effects.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) announced Friday a Request for Information (RFI) on a Retrospective Study of the final rule entitled “Lowering Miners’ Exposure to Respirable Coal Mine Dust, Including Continuous Personal Dust Monitors”.

MSHA aims to solicit comments, data, and information from stakeholders including industry, labor, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to assist in developing the framework for a study to assess the dust rule’s health effects.

The agency also seeks data and information on engineering controls and effective best practices to achieve and maintain respirable coal mine dust levels, especially practices that can be replicated in other coal mines with similar results.

Because of the latency period between exposure and disease, MSHA anticipates it will not likely be able to fully evaluate the rule’s health effects for a decade or more.

“To be clear, MSHA is initiating the study referenced in the preamble to the final rule to determine if the rule is meeting its intended result,” MSHA Assistant Secretary David G. Zatezalo said. “MSHA has no intention of rolling back the protections afforded to coal miners under the final dust rule.”

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