MSHA Sets Oct. 14 Public Hearing on Drug and Alcohol Rule

MSHA announced a public hearing will take place Oct. 14 on its proposed rule prohibiting consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs on mine property and requiring mine operators to create a written policy, test miners who perform safety-sensitive jobs and their supervisors, and remove those who test positive from duty pending treatment.

Removed miners would not be allowed to return to work after a positive test until they had completed the prescribed treatment and passed a return-to-duty test, according to the rule, which MSHA published on Sept. 8.

The hearing will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern and will be webcast to three locations: Washington, D.C.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; and Englewood, Colo. It will be possible to participate via audio only at two additional locations, the National Mine Health and Safety Academy in Beaver, W.Va., and MSHA's Coal Mine Safety and Health office in Birmingham, Ala., but those participants will not be able to make oral presentations.

Requests to speak should be made at least five days before the event by calling 202-693-9440 or e-mailing zzMSHA-comments@dol.gov. MSHA promised to post a transcript of the hearing on its www.msha.gov site and include it in the rulemaking record.

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