A just-released instruction guide from MSHA is intended to assist underground coal operators to comply with the Agency’s training requirements for the responsible person in charge of emergency mine rescue operations. Other coal and metal/non-metal operators could easily adapt the booklet during training of their own responsible persons.
Mine Operator and MSHA Said to Share Blame for Tragedy
The plan to retreat mine in the Crandall Canyon mine should not have been submitted, and “significant red flags” that might have better informed MSHA’s decision to approve or disapprove the plan were overlooked by MSHA or may have been deliberately downplayed by the operator.
MSHA is on the Department of Labor’s semi-annual regulatory agenda after all. In a Federal Register notice May 5, MSHA’s name was missing, and, accordingly, Sharpe’s Point reported its absence in a news article that day. However, the mine safety agency’s agenda went up on its website today (May 7). We cannot explain the discrepancy, but we will seek an explanation from the Agency.
Complaints from health professionals, an OSHA employee and a newspaper expose on the poultry processing industry has spurred two Democratic senators to call for an investigation into injury and illness recordkeeping practices and enforcement of reporting requirements.
MSHA’s Acting Assistant Secretary told members of the Industrial Minerals Association-North America (IMA-NA) that an increase in deaths of miners in the metal/non-metal (M/NM) sector last year is ‘unacceptable’ and called for renewed efforts to bring about positive change.
Cynical Hill watchers were pleasantly surprised to find that grandstanding and political partisanship took a back seat to workplace safety last month at a Senate hearing called to air strategies for breaking dangerous patterns that lead to serious OSHA violations.
Safety and health committees exist at many mine sites, but are these committees giving the mine operator the most bang for the buck?
Unless management, miners and committee members have a clear understanding of why the group exists and what it is trying to accomplish, the committee may not achieve its full potential.
MSHA disputed the Department of Labor Inspector General’s (IG’s) characterization of its performance at Crandall Canyon as “negligent,” yet the audit office amassed a formidable body of evidence to underpin its conclusion even as MSHA offered an anemic rebuttal. The IG's report was released March 31.
Editor’s Note: On April 28, MSHA reissued Program Policy Letter (PPL) PO8-III-2 dealing with special assessments. The re-issuance was necessary because when the PPL was first released March 31, it did not include the appropriate signoffs from Agency officials and thus had to be withdrawn. Nonetheless, Sharpe’s Point posted a summary of the PPL then, and is reproducing that summary with minor changes below for your information.
In a series of peer-reviewed publications, two researchers have identified a possible link between coal production and increased illness, mortality and hospitalization rates.
A consultant who chairs a mining association in Ontario has donated $60,000 (U.S.) to Laurentian University in Sudbury to fund scholarships for doctoral and master’s research in mining occupational safety and health.
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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