Safety Insights

CORESafety TV: February 2020

CORESafety TV (February  2020):

New Partnership Focuses on Protecting Miners’ Health from Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica

Welcome to the February edition of CORESafety TV — the online video program from the National Mining Association.

On February 5, 2020, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) met to announce the formation of a new Respirable Mine Dust Partnership (RMDP).

The primary objective of the partnership is to protect the health of both coal miners and hard rock miners as it relates to exposure to respirable crystalline silica (RCS). The RMDP also intends to address exposure to a broad range of other inhalation hazards in the future.

Little is known about RCS exposures and diseases among miners in the metal and nonmetal sector. This is one of the reasons why the partnership was created.

In this episode of CORESafety TV, we provide an overview report of the RMDP draft charter and also discuss some additional goals of the partnership.

In coming months, the Respirable Mine Dust Partnership will also be taking action to move toward these goals:

  • Reviewing scientific studies and literature on RCS exposures and addressing deficiencies in the data;
  • Discussing a National Academy of Sciences report about monitoring coal miners’ dust exposures and public responses to MSHA’s request for information on RCS;
  • Identifying easily achievable recommendations that will have near-term benefits to reduce miners’ exposures to RCS; and
  • Providing input on research gaps and technical direction about RCS.


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