MSHA Releases New Guidance to Protect Miners from COVID-19

MSHA Releases New Guidance to Protect Miners from COVID-19

A new guidance from the Mine Safety and Health Administration outlines steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 for coal miners.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration announced a stronger coronavirus safety guidance intended to keep coal miners safe from the coronavirus in the workplace. MSHA, notably, did not issue an emergency temporary standard, as the union had requested.

“This updated guidance provides U.S. mine operators with important recommendations for protecting miners from coronavirus,” Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health Jeannette Galanis said in a statement.

Included in the guidance is a hazard assessment of mines, measures to control the viral spread of COVID-19 and company policies that do not punish miners who speak up about potential hazards or those who must miss work due to quarantine.

Miners had been near the top of the list for industry workers that might find it particularly hard to stop the spread of COVID-19 since their occupations require them to be in confined quarters much of their work days. Workers in the coal industry are also particularly susceptible to the virus due to the high prevalence of lung disease among workers who are exposed to coal and rock dust.

Under the past administration, MSHA had declined to implement an emergency temporary standard for COVID-19 safety in mines. The agency argued that existing standards were sufficient, and that places with the highest number of working miners, such as West Virginia, had relatively low infection rates.

The guidance outlines 15 steps of a COVID-19 Prevention Program for those in the industry. To read the guidance in its entirety and the steps of the prevention program, visit

Download Center

  • OSHA Recordkeeping Guide

    In case you missed it, OSHA recently initiated an enforcement program to identify employers who fail to electronically submit Form 300A recordkeeping data to the agency. When it comes to OSHA recordkeeping, there are always questions regarding the requirements and ins and outs. This guide is here to help! We’ll explain reporting, recording, and online reporting requirements in detail.

  • Incident Investigations Guide

    If your organization has experienced an incident resulting in a fatality, injury, illness, environmental exposure, property damage, or even a quality issue, it’s important to perform an incident investigation to determine how this happened and learn what you can do to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of performing an incident investigation.

  • Lone Worker Guide

    Lone workers exist in every industry and include individuals such as contractors, self-employed people, and those who work off-site or outside normal hours. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies, inadequate rest and breaks, physical violence, and more. To learn more about lone worker risks and solutions, download this informative guide.

  • Job Hazard Analysis Guide

    This guide includes details on how to conduct a thorough Job Hazard Analysis, and it's based directly on an OSHA publication for conducting JHAs. Download the guide to learn how to identify potential hazards associated with each task of a job and set controls to mitigate hazard risks.

  • The Basics of Incident Investigations Webinar

    Without a proper incident investigation, it becomes difficult to take preventative measures and implement corrective actions. Watch this on-demand webinar for a step-by-step process of a basic incident investigation, how to document your incident investigation findings and analyze incident data, and more. 

  • Vector Solutions

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - October 2022

    October 2022


      Here's Why Constant Bending Can Be Troublesome
      How Artificial Intelligence in Revolutionizing Jobs
      Choosing the Right Respiratory Protection
      Managing Cold Stress with the Proper PPE
    View This Issue