MSHA MOVES CLOSER TO NEW SILICA REGULATION

On Aug. 29, the Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) took a step closer to an updated regulation for respirable crystalline silica. In a published Request for Information (RFI), the agency is soliciting “data and information on economically and technologically feasible best practices” to protect the health of coal miners and metal/nonmetal workers from “exposure to quartz, including a reduced [workplace exposure] standard, new or developing protective technologies, and/or technical and educational assistance.”

The long expected RFI follows a comprehensive silica regulation from OSHA and reports that clusters of “black lung disease” among coal miners in Appalachia may in part be related to elevated silica exposures.

The deadline to submit comments to MSHA is Oct. 28, 2019. NSSGA is reviewing the RFI to determine an appropriate response and encourages interested members to contact Dale T. Drysdale, NSSGA vice president of occupational & environmental health policy, and Libby Pritchard, NSSGA director of safety policy.

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