Mine Safety and Health Administration
Contact: Katharine Snyder
Phone: (703) 235-1452
Tuesday, February 3, 1998COAL MINE HEALTH SEMINAR IN LEXINGTON ANNOUNCED
The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) will hold a seminar in Lexington next week to update the coal mining community on health issues, especially recent progress in the campaign to eliminate black lung. Miners, mine operators, and other interested persons are invited to attend the meeting on Wednesday, February 11, at 9:00 a.m. at the Marriott Griffin Gate, 1800 Newtown Pike.
"MSHA recently has taken important steps to improve coal miners' health protection. Several recent actions are based upon recommendations by a special advisory committee that reviewed the entire black lung prevention strategy," said Davitt McAteer, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "As we continue this process, it's important to keep lines of communication open with the entire mining community."
In developing its recommendations, the Advisory Committee on the Elimination of Pneumoconiosis in Coal Mining held public hearings in Lexington on July 22-25, 1996.
Recent MSHA actions to strengthen the coal miner health program include:
--Increasing respirable dust sampling inspections;
--Instituting monthly health spot inspections and special emphasis dust inspections at mines with compliance problems;
--Conducting an educational "sweep" at underground coal mines;
--Holding a "grace period" to encourage reporting of occupational illnesses; and
--Adopting a new policy requiring corrective action when a full-shift sample taken by an inspector indicates overexposure.
Other coal mine health seminars are planned for February 10 in Washington, Pa.; February 12 in Beckley, W.Va.; and March 3 in Price, Utah.
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