Last updated: July 31. 2013 11:20AM - 543 Views

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LEXINGTON — The safety and health of Appalachia’s coal miners will be the focus of a one-day conference to be held in Lexington next month.

The 2013 Central Appalachian Regional Work Safety and Health Symposium will bring together researchers, government officials, industry representatives, and health and safety professionals to examine evidence and debate issues relevant to miner health and safety. Topics will include the epidemiology of black lung disease among miners in Appalachia and proposed changes to federal mining safety regulations.

The conference will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 22, at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Lexington. Designed for the benefit of coal miners, coal mine operators, and the health and safety personnel who support them, the conference will focus on scientific and policy developments of interest to all parties. National experts in the areas of respiratory disease, health surveillance, industrial hygiene, and occupational safety and health will participate in this informative cross-disciplinary forum.

Regulatory standards require coal mine operators to maintain the concentration of breathable coal dust below a certain level. In October 2010, the Mine Safety and Health Administration proposed a lowering of the exposure limit, as well as significant changes to compliance-monitoring procedures. Participants in the conference will have the opportunity to discuss the history, context and implications of these proposed changes from a full range of perspectives.

The University of Kentucky Department of Mining Engineering and the Central Appalachian Regional Education and Research Center (CARERC) are hosting the conference in conjunction with the 74th annual meeting of the Kentucky Mining Institute. CARERC is a research and education partnership of UK and Eastern Kentucky University, funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Continuing education credit is being o­ffered for nurses, respiratory therapists, and engineers. Full program information and online registration are available from at http://www.cecentral.com/live/6851. For more information, please contact Amber Kidd at amber.kidd@uky.edu or 859-323-5912.

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