MSHA Proposes Changes to Workplace Examination Rule

One proposed rule would further the effective date. The other would require that an examination of the working place be conducted before work begins or as miners begin work in that place, and that the examination record include descriptions of adverse conditions that are not corrected promptly and the dates of corrective action for these conditions.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration this week published two proposed rules that would change its Examinations of Working Places in Metal and Nonmetal Mines final rule that was published Jan. 23, 2017, as the new Trump administration was being installed. (The president was inaugurated on Jan. 20.)

MSHA said the first proposed rule would require that an examination of the working place be conducted before work begins or as miners begin work in that place, and that the examination record include descriptions of adverse conditions that are not corrected promptly and the dates of corrective action for these conditions. "It would provide mine operators additional flexibility in managing their safety and health programs and reduce regulatory burdens without reducing the protections afforded miners," according to the agency's news release. "The proposed rule would continue to permit mine operators with consecutive shifts or those that operate on a 24-hour, 365-day basis to conduct an examination on the previous shift."

MSHA announced it will hold four public hearings on the proposed rule, all of them starting at 9 a.m. local time:

  • Oct. 24, MSHA Headquarters, 201 12th St. South, Arlington, Va., 202-693-9440
  • Oct. 26, Salt Lake Marriott, 75 South West Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah, 801-531-0800
  • Oct. 31, Sheraton Birmingham, 2101 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd., N. Birmingham, Ala., 205-324-5000
  • Nov. 2, Wyndham Pittsburgh University Center, 100 Lytton Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa., 412-682-6200

Comments on the proposed changes to the final rule must be received by midnight EST on Nov. 13.

The second proposed rule would further delay the effective date of the final rule; comments on it must be received by midnight EDT on Sept. 26.

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