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US Department of Labor to broadcast panel discussion on benefits of respirable crystalline silica rule on miners’ safety, health June 3

Media Advisory posted: [May 31, 2024]

Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety, Health Chris Williamson to moderate online event 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor announced that Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health Chris Williamson will moderate a livestreamed panel discussion on June 3, 2024, at 2 p.m. EDT to discuss how the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s final rule for respirable crystalline silica will better protect the health of the nation’s miners.

Issued in April 2024, the final rule lowers the permissible exposure limit of respirable crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air for a full-shift exposure, calculated as an 8-hour, time-weighted average. If a miner’s exposure exceeds the limit, the final rule requires mine operators to take immediate corrective actions to come into compliance.

The panelists will include current and former miners, mine safety and health experts, labor union representatives and other stakeholders: 

  • University of Illinois Mining Education and Research Center Executive Director Dr. Bob Cohen 
  • Labor and employment law attorney Sam Petsonk 
  • United Mine Workers of America Health and Safety Director Josh Roberts
  • United Mine Workers of America miner Dave Dayton 
  • National Black Lung Association President Gary Hairston
  • Black Lung Program Coordinator Debbie Wills 
  • Black Lung Clinic Director and respiratory therapist Lisa Emery

View the livestream on June 3.

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Media Contacts:

Frances Alonzo, 202-997-6977,
Paloma Rentería, 202-579-1643, 

Release Number: 24-1096-NAT