Court Rejects MSHA’s Revisions to Workplace Examination Rule

Due to a recent court decision, metal/nonmetal mine operators are again facing the possibility of having to comply with two of the more onerous provisions of the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s (MSHA) workplace examination rule, 30 C.F.R. §§ 56.18002, 57.18002, as it was originally issued in 2017. Those provisions concern the timing of when the examination must be performed and what adverse conditions must be recorded on the examination record.

MSHA’s First Quarter Stakeholder Call Emphasizes Powered Haulage Training and Showcases Improvements to Mine Data Retrieval System

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) held its quarterly stakeholder call on May 2, 2019. MSHA began the discussion by reviewing the five fatalities that occurred in the first quarter of 2019. The agency then discussed best practices to prevent injuries in the event of a mobile equipment fire and reviewed upcoming training opportunities.

Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commissioners Confirmed

The Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission is back in business as it will soon have a quorum again to decide cases. The Commission plays an important role in mine safety and health law. The Commission establishes precedential case law when it decides appeals of administrative law judge decisions in Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) cases, including citation contests and discrimination cases.

MSHA’s Latest Stakeholder Call: The Latest on Fire Suppression System and Powered Haulage Safety Initiatives

On October 16, 2018, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) conducted a quarterly stakeholder conference call. Among the topics highlighted by MSHA were vehicle fire safety, in light of recent accidents in which fire suppression systems allegedly failed to function as intended, and a renewed emphasis on conveyor safety, which is part of MSHA’s powered haulage safety initiative.

Government Shutdown Update: Business as Usual for MSHA in the Field

With frantic negotiations continuing in the Senate—as of this writing—to find an agreement that will end the government shutdown, it is possible that this article is reaching you after a solution has been reached. Nonetheless, given the polarized nature of Congress and the very real possibility that we will find ourselves back in a stalemate in a few weeks, we thought it might be instructive to provide you with the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s (MSHA) shutdown contingency plan.

MSHA Decision Pending on the Effective Date for the Workplace Examination Final Rule

On January 23, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) issued its Final Rule for Examinations of Working Places in Metal and Nonmetal Mines. The final rule amends the existing workplace examinations standard and contains significant and highly burdensome requirements for mine operators. Since its publication in the Federal Register, questions have arisen as to when the Final Rule will become effective due to a recent White House memorandum.

MSHA Publishes the New Workplace Examination Final Rule

On January 23, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) will publish in the Federal Register a Final Rule on Examinations of Working Places in Metal and Nonmetal Mines, amending 30 C.F.R. § 56.18002 (Surface) and § 57.18002 (Underground). The final rule contains major amendments to the existing standards that will impose substantial administrative burdens on mine operators and create new risks of heightened enforcement against operators and supervisors.