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National Protect Your Hearing Month

Posted By Mark Ellis, Friday, October 27, 2017

October is National Protect Your Hearing Month and NIOSH has over 30 blog posts available to educate visitors about what is regarded as the Number One occupational health issue . . . noise-induced hearing loss.  Despite government regulations, recommendations, and a large body of occupational health research, everyone seems to struggle with how to convert knowledge to preventive intervention.  NIOSH researchers have focused on narrowing this “know-do” gap by trying to improve communication and dissemination efforts with safety and health professionals and the public through available communication channels and social media.

To learn more, please visit, . . . but do it soon.  National Protect Your Hearing Month is almost over.  More importantly, do it because noise-induced hearing loss is completely preventable.  What’s really needed is closing the “know-do” gap.

Tags:  NIOSH  noise  noise-induced hearing loss 

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EU Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive Approved

Posted By Mark Ellis, Thursday, October 26, 2017

Yesterday the European Parliament in plenary session voted 540 votes for to 6 against, with 119 abstentions, to approve a revision of the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive.  Once endorsed by the European Council, the Directive will be published in the EU Official Journal and enter into force 20 days after publication.  After publication, Member States will have two years to transpose the Directive into their national laws.

The Directive sets exposure limits for a further 11 carcinogens in addition to those covered by the existing 2004 Directive, among which is a Binding Occupational Exposure Limit Value for respirable crystalline silica generated by a work process at 0.1 mg/m3.  Article 18a specifies that the European Commission will evaluate the need to modify this limit value as part of the next evaluation of the implementation of the Directive.

Recital 19 of the Directive acknowledges the positive role of the Good Practices of the Social Dialogue “Agreement on Workers’ Health Protection Through the Good Handling and Use of Crystalline Silica and Products Containing It” (known as the NEPSi Agreement) as a valuable and necessary instrument to complement these new regulatory requirements and support their implementation.

The IMA-Europe press release is attached.

Download File (PDF)

Tags:  Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive  European Union  Respirable Crystalline Silica 

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EPA Update - Sue & Settle and WOTUS

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Last week, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced a significant change in policy at the Agency. Secretary Pruitt's Directive Promoting Transparency and Public Participation in Consent Decrees and Settlement Agreements, is aimed at ending the practices of setting regulatory deadlines and/or committing to undertake discretionary actions that are not required by statute through settlements with outside 3rd parties. Throughout the last Administration, environmental groups found great regulatory success by suing the EPA over purported failures to issue regulations by the dates required in the underlying statute or in a manner consistent with law. This practice became known as "Sue & Settle" and resulted in substantial regulatory action being undertaken due to settlement agreements rather than necessity. Under the new Directive the EPA must comply with the following guidelines when negotiating settlements:

The Agency Must:

  • Publish any notices of intent to sue the Agency within 15 days of receiving the notice;
  • Publish any complaints or petitions for review in regard to an environmental law, regulation, or rule in which the Agency is a defendant or respondent in federal court within 15 days of receipt;
  • Reach out to and including any states and/or regulated entities affected by potential settlements or consent decrees;
  • Publish a list of consent decrees and settlement agreements that govern Agency actions within 30 days, along with any attorney fees paid, and update it within 15 days of any new consent decree or settlement agreement;
  • Forbidden from entering into any consent decrees that exceed the authority of the courts;
  • Exclude attorney’s fees and litigation costs when settling with those suing the Agency;
  • Provide sufficient time to issue or modify proposed and final rules, take and consider public comment; and
  • Publish any proposed or modified consent decrees and settlements for 30-day public comment, and providing a public hearing on a proposed consent decree or settlement when requested.

To read the full Directive click here.


Waters of the US

The Waters Advocacy Coalition (WAC), of which IMA-NA and NISA are members, submitted comments to the Army Corps of Engineers related to the ongoing work of theDepartment of Defense Regulatory Reform Task Force. In accordance with Executive Order No. 13,777, each Department is currently reviewing existing regulations to determine which are unnecessary or overly burdensome, as currently written. WAC took the opportunity to submit comments to the record related to the 2015 redefinition of Waters of the United States. The comments are another avenue for the Coalition to work on correcting the overly expansive definition of Waters of the United States that was finalized in 2015. 

To read the comments click here


Finally, the EPA is continuing to conduct the sector specific listening sessions to solicit feedback on what a new redefinition of Waters of the United States should look like, ways the 2015 rule is flawed, and what a reasonable interpretation of jurisdictional scope should be. This Monday, EPA hosted the only in person listening session for small business entities. IMA-NA attended the meeting and is pleased to report back that the vast majority of oral comments offered were critical of the 2015 rule and in favor of a substantial redrafting.

The mining sector listening session is being held next Tuesday, October 31st, at 1pm EST. If you have not done so already please register to attend and contact Ariel Hill-Davis to coordinate comments.

 IMA-NA will also be offering written comments to the docket, which are due by November 28th. 

Tags:  comments  environment  EPA  Regulations  settle  sue  wotus 

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Posted By RJ Alpers, Wednesday, October 25, 2017

IMA-NA is proud to report that one of our members, Vortex Global Limited, was recently awarded the Materials Handling Engineers’ Association (MHEA) Excellence Award for Supplier of the Year. The MHEA Excellence Award for Supplier of the Year is intended to recognize a company who has made a significant impact on customer successes through outstanding customer service, robust product offerings, excellent product quality, or has exceeded expectations in the bulk materials handling industry. IMA-NA would like to congratulate Vortex Global Ltd. on this outstanding accomplishment. For the full article please click here.

Additionally, Vortex has recently published an article on which type of diverter could be the best option to optimize performance in your minerals. The article, entitled “Pivoting Chute Diverters vs. Flapper Diverters” is attached below. We invite all members to explore this information. 

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Monday Move: A Balance Series With Video!

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Monday, October 23, 2017

Happy Monday!

This week we turn our attention to balance, as a reminder of its importance in daily life. Whether at work or at home, the ability to stand on one foot confidently pays dividends - especially as we age. Please watch the video below to learn a series of simple items to perform and improve your balance technique.

The Steps to Balance:

1. Single leg knee tuck to chest - either do 10 per leg or alternate for 20 total repetitions
2. Single leg balance hold - try to get to 30 seconds!
3. Single leg balance hold - with eyes closed for 7 seconds!

Have a wonderful week.

Your MineFit Coach,


Tags:  health  MineFit  monica pampell  safety and health  total worker health 

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Fairmount Santrol on the Cover of Oil & Gas Financial Journal

Posted By RJ Alpers, Saturday, October 21, 2017
Updated: Friday, October 20, 2017

This past week Fairmount Santrol was featured in the Oil & Gas Financial Journal. President and CEO Jennifer Deckard highlighted FMSA’s focus on technology and innovation through their “proppant innovation”. Jennifer’s outstanding interview demonstrates the great work that is being done in the industrial sand industry and IMA-NA/NISA is so happy to support such a great organization. The title of the article is: “Do Good. Do Well” and explains their emphasis on corporate responsibility and development the past few years.

To read this great article please click here. Also, as previously mentioned, next week IMA-NA will begin our new social media campaign promoting our membership and all the different members that we are fortunate to represent. If any member has any articles, photos, or information about their company they would like published please reach out and share it with the IMA-NA staff!

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Friday MineFit TidBit: Which is it? More Small Meals or Fewer Large Meals?

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Friday, October 20, 2017

Good Morning and Happy Friday!

There has been a long-standing debate about whether we should eat only two meals a day, or snack throughout, for a total of 4-6. It seems like every other week there is a new study out contradicting the previous prescription.

I often tell people: “it’s neither good nor bad. It just is.”

So, here is a perspective that touches on the point. The summary of this recent research is that people who ate one or two large meals per day were less likely to gain weight than those who ate smaller meals over the course of the day (4-6). This flies in the face of the metabolism theory (spacing out meals boosts daily caloric burn). But don’t get discouraged, snackers! The reason for this result is that the people eating more, “smaller” meals underestimated how many calories were in each one. So, their net intake was much higher than the 1-2 meal a day group.

Few Big Meals vs Many Small Ones 

Just something new to consider when deciding when and what to eat. Enjoy!

Your MineFit Coach,

Tags:  MineFit  nutrition  safety and health  wellness 

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LCA for Calcium Carbonate Released

Posted By Chris Greissing, Thursday, October 19, 2017

Members of the Industrial Minerals Association’s Calcium Carbonate section recently completed a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) to show the sustainable benefits of using calcium carbonate.  An LCA is a method for identifying the environmental impacts of a product, process, or activity over its entire lifespan.  The objective of this LCA was to develop an industry average for North 

American mined and quarried calcium carbonate products.  


The LCA was completed by Sustainable Solutions Corporation.  Participating companies included: Omya, Imerys Carbonates, Carmeuse and Columbia River Carbonates.  The LCA took a cradle-to-gate approach to the extraction and production process to provide a comprehensive understanding of the environmental impacts of calcium carbonate.  


Calcium carbonate is a material that is used in a wide-variety of products in commerce, building and manufacturing.  This LCA helps to show the benefits of using calcium carbonate in place of alternative materials, as it could help the overall end product have a reduced environmental footprint. This LCA looked at five calcium carbonate products: screen grade; coarse, dry, ~ 20 micron; coarse, dry, ~ 30 micron; fine, slurry, 3 micron; and fine, treated, 3 micron.  


Calcium carbonate is the most widely used mineral in the paper, plastics, paints and coatings industries as both a filler and as a coating pigment.  Calcium carbonate is used in personal health and food production industries as an effective dietary calcium supplement, antacid, phosphate binder, or base material for medicinal tablets.


The LCA was critically reviewed by a third party, ensuring the accuracy and validity of the data.  Mr. Thomas P. Gloria of Industrial Ecology Consultants reviewed the LCA study regarding conformance to the ISO 14040 and 14044 standards on LCA.  The review determined: the methods used to carry out the LCA were consistent with the applicable international standards and methodologies; the methods used to carry out the LCA were scientifically and technically valid; the data used were appropriate and reasonable in relation to the goal of the study; and, the interpretations reflected limitations identified and the goal of the study.  


The LCA report and fact sheet are both attached.


For more information, please contact Chris Greissing (

 Attached Files:

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Zatezalo Nomination Advances

Posted By RJ Alpers, Thursday, October 19, 2017

Yesterday the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions favorably reported the nomination of David Zatezalo to be Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health.  The favorable vote occurred along party-line votes, 12-11.  The nomination next will be scheduled for consideration by the full Senate. IMA-NA will continue to provide updates in this nomination process.

Tags:  Congress  MSHA Alliance  safety and health 

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MineFite News and A Belated Monday Move

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Tuesday, October 17, 2017

IMA-NA would like to announce the sunsetting of the MineFit Program as of January 2018. Our head coach, Monica Pampell, will be providing members with 9 more weeks of MineFit lessons for members to use throughout the coming holiday season. The lessons will be related to three areas that can impact everyday workplace safety and health: Balance, Posture, and Nutrition. Our MineFit materials from the last 2 years will still be available digitally for members to download and use in conjunction with company safety, health, and wellness programs.  If you have any questions related to MineFit please email Ariel Hill-Davis.


Monday Move (Belated) - The Wall Press for Posture


Happy Tuesday! Our MOVE today is a posture check using any wall, anywhere. Watch the video below and then hop up and practice! All parts of the spine against the wall, core activation, shoulders back, and the neck pressed as well. Enjoy a better posture this week in just 60 seconds, and have a good week!

Your MineFit Head Coach,


Tags:  MineFit  safety and health  total worker health  wellness 

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