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MSHA reopens comment periods for proposed rule on proximity detection systems, RFI on diesel exhaust

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Arlington, VA – The Mine Safety and Health Administration on Jan. 9 announced it is reopening two comment periods: one regarding a Request for Information on underground miner exposure to diesel exhaust, and the other on a proposed rule that would require underground coal mine operators to equip coal-hauling machines and scoops with proximity detection systems.

In response to comments submitted during the original comment period on diesel exhaust exposure, MSHA and NIOSH formed a partnership with the mining industry, diesel engine manufacturers, academia, and representatives of organized labor to gather more information, and stakeholders asked that the comment period remain open during partnership discussions. The new comment deadline on this RFI is Jan. 9, 2018.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer classified diesel exhaust as a human carcinogen in 2012.

Meanwhile, MSHA stated that it is reopening the comment period for the proposed rule on the use of proximity detection systems in mobile machines in underground coal mines because of issues raised during the original comment period. The devices would help reduce the risk of pinning, crushing and striking incidents that these miners encounter, the agency says.

Comments are due Feb. 8.

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