According to MSHA Assistant Secretary David Zatezalo, MSHA is working to “put the ‘H’ back in ‘MSHA.’” He told Congress over the summer that he is “paying close attention to the ‘H’ in MSHA: miners’ health.” He emphasized that MSHA will “aggressively enforce existing standards to ensure that operators protect miners from exposure to respirable dust and quartz.”

Though seemingly motivated by black lung concerns, MSHA’s renewed health focus hasn’t been limited to coal. Companies in the metal/non-metal industry have also been seeing MSHA headquarters more involved in routine enforcement involving dust exposures. In fact, there seems to pressure by MSHA on operators to collect air samples more regularly.

In a recent Rock Products column, I looked at this latest push for sampling and how it conflicts with agency regulations and guidance. Read the full article here.