ARLINGTON, Va. – As the U.S. Department of Labor works to protect the safety and health of America’s miners, the Mine Safety and Health Administration announced that it will publish its Final Rule on Examinations of Working Places in Metal and Nonmetal Mines in the Federal Register on April 9.
The Final Rule includes updates based on stakeholder comments and testimony received last fall during four public hearings held in Virginia, Utah, Alabama and Pennsylvania. The rule, which will be effective on June 2, will require that:
• Each working place be examined at least once each shift for conditions that may adversely affect safety or health of miners before work begins or as miners begin work in that place;
• Mine operators promptly notify miners in affected areas of any conditions that may adversely affect their safety or health and promptly initiate appropriate corrective action. Notification is only necessary when adverse conditions are not promptly corrected before miners are exposed;
• A record of the examination be made before the end of each shift, including the name of the person conducting the examination; the date of the examination; location of all areas examined; a description of each condition found that may adversely affect the safety or health of miners that is not promptly corrected, and the date of the corrective action (when that occurs); and
• The record be made available to MSHA and miners’ representatives upon request.
MSHA will hold stakeholder meetings across the country to provide outreach and compliance assistance materials on the Final Rule. A notice announcing stakeholder meetings in Seattle, Washington, and at MSHA’s district offices by way of video teleconferencing will be published at a later date.