The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has issued 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" in the Federal Register.
The purpose of this RFI is to solicit comments, data, and information from industry, labor, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and other stakeholders to assist MSHA in developing the framework for a study to assess the health effects of the dust rule.
MSHA also seeks information and data on engineering controls and best practices that mine operators find effective to achieve and maintain required respirable coal mine dust levels, particularly those practices that can be replicated throughout coal mines nationwide to achieve similar results.
Due to the significant latency period between exposure and disease, MSHA anticipates the Agency will not likely be able to fully evaluate the health effects of the rule 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," said MSHA Assistant Secretary David G. Zatezalo. "MSHA has no intention of rolling back the protections afforded to coal miners under the final dust rule."