Search form

Mine Safety Agency Announces Final Rule for Examination of Working Places in Metal, Nonmetal Mines

By Tressi L. Cordaro
  • February 8, 2017

Examinations of working places should be conducted before miners begin work in those places and miners should be notified of hazardous conditions found during examinations, the Mine Safety and Health Administration has announced in a final rule amending existing standards to improve the quality of working place examinations in metal and nonmetal mines. The final rule takes effect on May 23, 2017.

The agency said that under the new rule, miners would benefit from “timely and rigorous” working place examinations to prevent injuries and death. Existing standards allow an examination to be conducted at any time during a shift (even at the very end of the shift) and contain no requirement that miners be notified of hazards found during an examination.

According to a fact sheet, the final rule improves safety and health of miners by requiring mine operators to:

  • perform working place examinations that identify hazards before miners begin work in an area;
  • promptly inform affected miners about hazardous conditions that are not corrected immediately;
  • make the examination record before the end of the shift;
  • record the locations examined, the name of the person conducting the examination, the adverse conditions identified, and the date of the corrective action; and
  • make a copy of examination records available to MSHA and miners’ representatives upon request.

The agency estimated the final rule will result in $34.5 million in annual costs for the metal and nonmetals mine industry. The new rule, it said, will “result in benefits” due to “more effective and consistent” workplace examinations that will help to ensure conditions will be “timely identified, communicated to miners, and corrected.”

In a question-and-answer sheet, MSHA said that between January 2010 and mid-December 2015, it recorded 122 miners killed in 110 accidents at metal and nonmetal mines. It said the agency issued citations to mine operators involved in 16 accidents, in which 18 miners were killed. MSHA said it has taken “a common sense approach” with the final rule.

Jackson Lewis attorneys are available to assist employers to achieve compliance with the new rule.

©2017 Jackson Lewis P.C. This Update is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice nor does it create an attorney/client relationship between Jackson Lewis and any readers or recipients. Readers should consult counsel of their own choosing to discuss how these matters relate to their individual circumstances. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without the express written consent of Jackson Lewis.

This Update may be considered attorney advertising in some states. Furthermore, prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Jackson Lewis P.C. represents management exclusively in workplace law and related litigation. Our attorneys are available to assist employers in their compliance efforts and to represent employers in matters before state and federal courts and administrative agencies. For more information, please contact the attorney(s) listed or the Jackson Lewis attorney with whom you regularly work.

See AllRelated Articles You May Like

November 16, 2017

Transportation Department Expands Drug Testing Panel to Include Certain ‘Semi-Synthetic’ Opioids

November 16, 2017

Employers regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) should revise their drug and alcohol testing policies to conform to new DOT regulations that added four “semi-synthetic” opioid drugs to the DOT drug testing panel. The new regulations go into effect on January 1, 2018. DOT announced in a rule published in the Federal... Read More

October 27, 2017

What Employers Need to Know about OSHA’s Respirable Crystalline Silica Rule for Construction

October 27, 2017

Full enforcement with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s new respirable crystalline silica rule in the construction industry began on October 23, 2017, according to the agency. The silica rule is one of the most comprehensive health standards ever issued for the construction industry and significantly reduces the... Read More

August 23, 2017

Mine Safety Agency Implements Medical Standards Action Plan for Inspectors, Technical Personnel

August 23, 2017

The Mine Safety and Health Administration will implement an action plan for employees who do not meet the agency’s medical standards.   As a condition of employment, MSHA inspectors and technical personnel must undergo periodic medical examinations, including vision and hearing tests, and meet medical standards set by the Office... Read More

Related Practices