MSHA Takes Significant Step to Help End Black Lung Disease

Filed in Safety, Workplace Rights by on October 20, 2010 0 Comments

Yesterday, a proposed regulation that aims to eliminate black lung disease in coal miners was published in the Federal Register. The release of this proposed regulation fulfills a longstanding commitment and promise that I made on my first day with the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), and one that I have been dedicated to most of my working life.

Far too many coal miners have suffered and died from black lung disease for far too long. To help eliminate this terrible disease, MSHA has launched the “End Black Lung – Act Now!” campaign.

MSHA has produced two videos – one describing our comprehensive campaign to end black lung and the other outlining the elements of the proposed regulation. Please take a moment to view them.

The proposed regulation would bring us many steps closer to overhauling an outdated program that has failed to protect miners adequately from breathing unhealthy levels of respirable coal mine dust.  We have a long way to go to achieving the intent of Congress to eliminate black lung disease.

This proposed regulation would implement recommendations contained in the 1995 National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Criteria Document on Occupational Exposure to Respirable Coal Mine Dust, and the 1996 Secretary of Labor’s Dust Advisory Committee Report on the Elimination of Pneumoconiosis Among Coal Mine Workers.

All of the features of this proposed regulation combined will reduce coal miners’ exposure to unhealthy dust, and ultimately reduce their chances of getting black lung.

Please take a moment to review the proposed regulation and the other related materials on our website.

Together we can end black lung.

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