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U.S. Department of Labor

Mine Safety and Health Administration
201 12th Street South, Suite 401
Arlington, VA 22202-5450

ISSUE DATE: March 31, 2008


                       Administrator for
                       Coal Mine Safety and Health

SUBJECT:     Submission of Respirable Dust Samples using the MSHA Individual
                    Identification Number (MIIN)

This Program Information Bulletin (PIB) applies to Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) Coal Mine Safety and Health (CMS&H) personnel, coal mine operators, and independent contractors.

This PIB provides information on the new MSHA individual identification number that eliminates the need for mining industry personnel to use their Social Security Number (SSN) on documents submitted to MSHA.

MSHA issued Program Policy Letter (PPL) No. P08-III-01, with an effective date of April 21, 2008, Replacing Social Security Numbers with a Unique Identifier - MSHA Individual Identification Number (MIIN). This PPL requires personnel who hold MSHA certification for collection of respirable dust samples and/or certification for the maintenance and calibration of respirable dust sampling units to obtain a MIIN to continue to perform these functions. MSHA will void any respirable dust sample submitted on or after July 1, 2008, that: It is important that certified persons planning to submit respirable dust samples to MSHA on or after July 1, 2008, register for the new MIIN as soon as possible. Registration for a MIIN will start on April 21, 2008.

Mining industry personnel may register for the new MIIN by: Miners need to be prepared to provide their correct SSN when using any of the above methods to request their MIIN.

Part 90 miners are currently tracked and identified by their SSN. Active Part 90 miners will be assigned a MIIN by MSHA. A notice will be mailed to the Part 90 miner and the mine operator, notifying both parties of the assigned MIIN. The new MIIN must be recorded on respirable dust data cards submitted with samples and used when contacting MSHA concerning the Part 90 miner's status on or after July 1, 2008. In addition, any miner exercising Part 90 miner rights will be assigned a MIIN by MSHA. The letter notifying the mine operator of the miner's decision to become a Part 90 miner will include the MIIN assigned to this miner. A copy of this letter, which will provide notice to the miner of the assigned MIIN, will be mailed to the Part 90 miner.

Current respirable dust data cards label sections 12 and 13 of the card as SSN. New dust data cards have replaced the SSN label with the MIIN label. Mine operators will be able to continue to use any dust data cards that are marked with the SSN label. The SSN and the MIIN both consist of 9 characters. Once a MIIN is obtained, the MIIN should be entered in the 9 blocks provided. The first character of the MIIN is the letter "M" followed by 8 digits. MSHA will accept dust data cards that utilize a MIIN anytime after April 21, 2008.

MSHA is aware that mining industry personnel are concerned with the recording and collection of their SSNs on documents such as the dust data card submitted to the Agency. MSHA shares this concern and is committed to developing a system to eliminate the need to record the SSN on submitted documents.

Sections 101(a) and 103(a)(2) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, as amended, 30 U.S.C. § 801 et seq. at §§ 811(a) and 813(a)(2): 30 C.F.R. parts 70, 71 and 90.

Internet Availability
This PIB may be viewed on the Internet by accessing MSHA's home page choosing "Compliance Assistance" and "Compliance Information" and selecting "Program Information Bulletins."

Issuing Office and Contact Person
Coal Mine Safety and Health, Health Division
Robert Thaxton, (202) 693-9515

Coal Program Policy Manual Holders
Coal Mine Operators
Coal Independent Contractors
Coal Special Interest Groups