Black Lung

Category archives for Black Lung

Why US coal miners are still developing black lung disease

In Hawk’s Nest Redux, Ellen Smith reports that an apalling number of the 29 deceased Upper Big Branch coal miners had black lung disease. The autopsy evidence was reported at the end of one chapter of the investigation report prepared by an independent panel of investigators commissioned by the Governor of West Virginia.* Smith compared…

by Ellen Smith For those who don’t know the history of the Hawk’s Nest Tunnel, from 1930 to 1935, approximately 3,000 workers carved a 3 mile tunnel through the Gauley Mountain in West Virginia in order to divert the New River for an electrical station at a Union Carbide plant. Ventilation was limited at best.…

Anticipating Labor Dept’s regulatory agenda for new worker safety rules

It shouldn’t be long now before Labor Secretary Hilda Solis releases her semi-annual regulatory plan for new worker health and safety rules. This document is required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act and Executive Order 12866, and is supposed to be published every April and October. The Labor Secretary’s most recent regulatory agenda wasn’t issued until…

Safety blitz at WV Massey Energy mine, 20 instances of aggravated misconduct

The Labor Department’s Mine Safety and Health Adminstration (MSHA) issued a news release yesterday reporting on the results of an inspection at Inman Energy’s Randolph coal mine, a subsidiary of Massey Energy. MSHA chief Joe Main said: “the conduct and behavior exhibited when we caught the mine operator by surprise is nothing short of outrageous.…

Congressman blames US coal miners for having black lung disease

Freshman Congressman Larry D. Bucshon (R) of Evansville, Indiana is a cardiothoracic surgeon. His father was an underground coal miner and a member of the United Mine Workers Union for 37 years. Both his grandparents were coal miners. But, Republican-controlled Capitol Hill is now the Twilight Zone when I heard him say the following last…

Labor Dept reveals plan for worker health and safety regulations

By the end of 2011, the Labor Department’s worker safety agencies expect to issue six new rules to better protect workers from on-the-job hazards. In the Department’s regulatory plan issued yesterday, OSHA projects it will finalize four rules while MSHA expects to complete two new standards. As I’ve written before, these plans quickly become stale…

Looking at my crystal ball to predict regulatory initiatives for worker safety

It’s that time of year, when the Secretary of Labor is supposed to outline her rulemaking priorities for next 12 months. This would include new proposal to protect mine workers, like the 64 killed already this year, and the tens of thousands made ill by inadequate OSHA standards on exposure to chemicals. The Presidential Executive…

MSHA takes bold step to end black lung disease, proposes tough new regulation

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and MSHA asst. secretary Joe Main are proposing new rules to protect U.S. coal mine workers from developing illnesses related to exposure to respirable coal mine dust. The most commonly known adverse health effect is black lung disease, but exposure is also associated with excess risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,…

MSHA rule to protect workers from black lung disease on the horizon

The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is preparing to propose new regulations to protect coal mine workers from the respirable dust hazards that cause black lung disease. In May, the Labor Department’s regulatory agenda indicated that MSHA would propose a rule in September. The White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA)…

MSHA seeks White House approval on rule to prevent black lung disease

The Mine Safety and Health Administration took an important step yesterday to meet a goal set in the Labor Secretary’s regulatory agenda: proposing a rule to prevent black lung disease. According to data on RegInfo.gov MSHA submitted yesterday a proposed rule entitled “Lowering Miners’ Exposure to Coal Mine Dust Including Continuous Personal Dust Monitors”to OMB’s…