This interdisciplinary conference, designed for the benefit of coal miners, coal mine operators, and the health and safety personnel who support them, focused on scientific and policy developments. Topics addressed included the current science indicating the risk for respiratory diseases among coal miners, state-of-the-art tools and techniques for measuring coal dust, current status for exposure limits, and the need for periodic health surveillance of coal workers. National experts in the areas of respiratory disease, health surveillance, industrial hygiene, and occupational safety and health participated in this cross-disciplinary forum.
Conference Introduction - Wayne T. Sanderson, PhD, CIH
Because dust measurements taken in underground coal mines can vary significantly depending on the variables in the testing method used, more education is needed that describes the variables and testing methods.
The mining safety and health research community and all stakeholders should become informed of ways in which they can advance projects than will fulfill the Alpha Foundation’s vision of eliminating work-related injury and disease for the nation’s miners.
Dust that causes CWP penetrates the lung and cannot be seen with the unaided eye. There is a need for continuous and accurate monitoring of coal mine dust exposure to grow a healthy culture in the mining industry.
Health care providers who support coal miners and coal mine operators as well as mine safety professionals, mining engineers, and mine management should be up-to-date with US coal miner health surveillance programs, surveillance-related publications, and how the body reacts to the inhalation of coal mine dust.
Management of Coal Worker's Pneumoconiosis (CWP) requires all members of the health care team to work together. The team needs to understand recent changes in the guidelines that establish the presence and severity of CWP and the different presentations of CWP to determine the factors involved in CWP progression.