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Proposals for the control of inhalable dust in coal mines

Consultation ended: 28 May 2004



This Consultative Document sets out the Health and Safety Commission's (HSC) proposals for new Regulations and an accompanying Approved Code of Practice for the control of inhalable dust in coal mines in Great Britain. These new regulations will apply to all working coal mines. They will replace the Coal Mines (Respirable Dust) Regulations 1975 (RDR). It invites comments on the revised Regulations and the Approved Code of Practice (ACOP).

The Coal Mines (Respirable Dust) Regulations 1975 (RDR) introduced the first statutory control limits for respirable dust in UK coal mines. These regulations were successful in substantially reducing the prevalence of pneumoconiosis in the industry. Indeed, it had been believed that the most severe and debilitating forms of the disease had been virtually eradicated. However, in 1999 and 2000 the discovery of a number of new cases of higher category pneumoconiosis, including 2 of the complicated form, progressive massive fibrosis, has demonstrated that despite their success, there are some important weaknesses in the control regime established by RDR.

The proposals will be of interest to all coal mine owners, managers and other employers of employees working below ground at a coal mine (most likely contractors). They will also be of interest to mine workers' representatives and organisations.

Updated 2009-05-28