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MSHA (Mine Safety and Health Administration) Finalizes New Rules for Respirable Crystalline Silica Dust Exposure

On April 18, 2024, MSHA Finalized their new regulations around Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) dust exposure, titled “Lowering Miners’ Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica and Improving Respiratory Protection.” This rule will create significant changes in the requirements for how mines monitor RCS. Here are some of the key changes that Flexco has identified that are important for all producers to know. 

  • Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) is reduced from 100 to 50 µg/m3 (micrograms per cubic meter) over a time-weighted 8-hour shift. 
  • Any results over 50 will require immediate intervention to reduce exposure. 
  • Having employees wear respirators or rotate more frequently out of high exposure areas will not be considered as acceptable controls. 
  • Producers will be required to use engineering and administrative controls to lower dust exposure to comply. 
  • New action limit – Any test result between 25 and 50 µg/m3 will require quarterly ongoing sampling until there are 2 consecutive results under 25. 
  • All employees that work on the mine site will be required to test. 
  • The new rule goes into effect on 6/17/24. 

One of the main problem areas for fugitive dust at any mine site is at conveyor transfer points, also called load zones. Luckily Flexco is here to help. We have a full lineup of load zone products to help seal your belt from the bottom and top sides, preventing fugitive dust from escaping.  

Below are some links to posts and products that will help you on your journey to be ready for this new regulation.  

Read more about how to support your transfer points here:  

Why its Important to Support the Transfer Area of Your Conveyor 

Combat Spillage in Your Load Zone 

Learn more about the products that Flexco offers to combat dust at the load zone:  

Skirting Systems 

Belt Support Products 

Finally, see MSHA’s Announcement and to access the full rule on the Federal Register. 

Published Date

April 22, 2024

Product Group

  • Impact Beds and Skirting Systems