ARLINGTON, Va. – As the Mine Safety and Health Administration prepares for implementation of Phase II of its final rule to lower miners’ exposure to respirable coal mine dust in underground and surface coal mines, the agency will hold a series of stakeholder outreach meetings for the coal mining industry. An MSHA outreach meeting will be held at the Perry County Public Library in Hazard at 1 p.m. on Aug. 11.
The rule, which went into effect last August, is part of the Department of Labor’s initiative to end black lung, a debilitating and deadly disease caused by prolonged exposure to coal mine dust. By Feb. 1, 2016, continuous personal dust monitors must be used to monitor underground coal mine occupations exposed to the highest respirable dust concentrations, as well as all miners with evidence of black lung. The rule’s increased sampling frequency provisions also will go into effect at this time, and miners will receive information on respirable dust levels more quickly.