The US Mine Safety and Health Administration is planning to implement new safety rules in 2011, according to its director, Joe Main.

The federal agency plans to issue six regulations under the proposed agenda, which would call for companies to provide gear to each miner to measure coal dust exposure, a growing hazard to miners, and install alarms to protect them from heavy machinery.

The agenda will deal with a number of issues impacting the coal mining industry including regulations for impoundment dams, operations with a pattern of violations and standards for proximity detective systems.

The rules also require mining companies to clarify who the legal operator of a mine is to prevent owners from shutting and reopening a mine under a new name to avoid paying fines.