Democrats holding senior and/or leadership positions on committees of jurisdiction in Congress are putting the heat on the White House to release OSHA’s long-stalled proposal to regulate crystalline silica.
In a letter last month to Jeffrey Zients, a deputy director at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), four lawmakers noted that the rule has been under review at OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for more than two years.
Workers continue to try and put out a fire that erupted inside an Appalachian coal mine Tuesday.
All 121 dayshift workers were evacuated safely and without injury after black smoke was seen coming from an airshaft around 2 p.m. at Consol Energy’s Blacksville No. 2 Mine near Wayne in Greene County, PA.
MSHA is expected to issue a safety hazard alert on plate filter presses following the death last month of an engineer who was killed when a hydraulic cylinder used on a press catastrophically failed.
Brandon E. Townsend, 34, died Feb. 6 of blunt force trauma at Midland Trail Energy’s Five Mile Prep Pit and Refuse Impoundment in Kanawha County, WV. At the time of the accident, Townsend was troubleshooting the operation of the filter press, which de-waters coal fines produced when coal is cleaned. Read more »
Researchers at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health have scheduled a public meeting next month to present their findings on a health study of taconite workers in the Iron Range.
The aim of the $4 million study, underway for the past several years, is to determine the causes of what is believed to be an increased mesothelioma risk among these workers. Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the lung or stomach, and the majority of such cases have been linked to exposure to asbestos.
A former superintendent of the Upper Big Branch-South (UBB) Mine has begun a 21-month sentence for his role in the West Virginia coal mine tragedy.
Gary May, 44, of Bloomingrose pleaded guilty last year to one felony count of conspiracy to defraud the federal government by covering up safety problems at the Raleigh County mine, where 29 miners died in a massive explosion. He admitted to ordering an electrician to disable a methane monitor on a continuous mining machine and to ordering a miner to falsify mine examination records.
Draft, bipartisan legislation has been prepared in Congress that would amend the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to force federal agencies to provide greater openness and access to information.
The FOIA Oversight and Information Act was released today by U.S. Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Elijah Cummings (D-MD). The lawmakers are the chairman and ranking minority leader, respectively, of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
NIOSH has released a document that outlines a new perimeter blast design concept for underground Metal/Non-Metal (M/NM) mines.
Drilling and blasting is an economical way to construct drifts, but blasting causes damage to the perimeter of the opening that could increase ground control risks for underground M/NM miners. According to the Institute, the lack of a controlled blast design is one of two main causes of perimeter damage, the other being the absence of precision drilling. Read more »
An appeals court has thrown out an MSHA citation against a mine operator in the Iron Range because it concluded the agency had cited the wrong standard.
In a 10-page decision released today, a three-judge panel of the Eighth Circuit said that in the context of other standards in Subpart K, Part 56, of MSHA’s rulebook, the cited standard, 56.12016, applies to prevention of electrocution, not mechanical movement. The subpart is entitled “Electricity.”
Continuing deaths among coal miners risk eroding public support for the sector at a time when challenges exist to its survival, a coal executive told attendees at a mining symposium in West Virginia.
A Canadian gold producer is conducting an industry-wide study to better understand why people do wrong things at work.
Goldcorp Senior Vice President Paul Farrow said it was critically important for all mine operators to strive to maintain the best possible health and safety records for their operations, not only due to the damaging effect it had within the organization, but also because of the potential effect on the industry as a whole.
His remarks were made to Mining Weekly Online during a mining trade association gathering in Canada this week.
Relatives of two workers killed in a shooting rampage that claimed three lives at a California cement plant in 2011 have sued the victims’ employer.
Shareef Allman opened fire on some 15 supervisors and co-workers during a pre-dawn weekly safety meeting at the Lehigh Southwest Cement Co.’s Permanente Plant in Cupertino on Oct. 5, 2011.
Laid-off Eastern Kentucky coal miners are getting a lift from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
DOL announced today that it was providing a $5.2 million “national emergency grant” to assist miners and their families impacted by coal mine layoffs. The money will be used for re-employment services for miners and their spouses.
MSHA has announced a number of personnel changes in its Coal Division.
District 4 Manager Charlie Carpenter has retired. Lincoln Selfe has taken over on an acting basis. In the same district, Raymond Browning was named as supervisor of the ventilation group in the Mt. Hope, WV office. He had been a ventilation specialist there. District 4 covers 13 counties in Southern West Virginia.
A former associate of the ex-CEO of Massey Energy Co. pleaded guilty today to conspiring to commit and cover-up safety violations at company mines in West Virginia.
David Craig Hughart, 54, of Crab Orchard pleaded guilty to a felony charge of conspiring to defraud the federal government’s oversight of mining by providing advance notice of inspectors’ presence on mine property. He also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor offense of conspiracy to violate mine safety laws. He is cooperating with authorities.
The official who runs MSHA says a special enforcement program begun after the 2010 Upper Big Branch-South Mine tragedy is making mines safer.
"We believe that the impact inspection initiative has made mines safer," said Assistant Secretary Joe Main in a press release today announcing the January results of the initiative. "According to a recent evaluation of mines targeted in this special enforcement program, there have clearly been improvements."
MSHA’s has revised its web-based pattern of violation (POV) monitoring tool to incorporate a crucial change included in the agency’s final POV rule.
Two sets of criteria presented in the monitoring tool are identical to those the agency applied before its final rule was promulgated last month with one critical exception. It is that the criteria 2 sub-set adds issued citations and orders so that they along with final orders of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission now will be considered in making POV determinations.
The family of a man killed at his place of work by a fired employee has sued his employer for botching the shooter’s dismissal.
Joseph Beneke, 34, died along with four other people and the assailant in a shooting incident last September at Accent Signage Systems in Minneapolis. News reports soon after the shooting identified Beneke by a different first name, Jacob.
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May 29, Piedmont Triad Transportation Management Center, Greensboro, NC
June 4-6, Holiday Inn and Suites North Beach, Virginia Beach, VA
June 4-6, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Mine Safety Training Center, Cadiz, OH
Current Regulatory Agenda
Proposed (P) Final (F)
(F) Pattern of Violations Issued Jan '13
(F) Prox Detect Devices:CMMs May '13
(F) Respirable Coal Dust Jun '13
(P) Prox Detect Devices UG Jul '13
(P) Civil Penalties Jan '13
(P) Legal Identity Not. Jul '13
(P) Silica Aug '13
(P) Testing Fees Aug '13
(F) Update Signage Mar '13
(F) Coop. Agreements Apr '13
(F) Update NAICS May13
(F) Confined Space Construction Jul '13
(F) Slips, Trips, Falls Aug '13
(P) Silica May '13
(P) Inj/Ill Reporting May '13
(P) Combustible Dust Oct '13
(P) I2P2 Dec '13
- Coal 8
- Aggregates 2
- Other M/NM 5
- Coal 19
- Aggregates 10
- Other M/NM 6
- Coal 21
- Aggregates 8
- Other M/NM 8
- Coal 48
- Aggregates 9
- Other M/NM 14