Fisher Phillips: Five 2023 mine safety predictions

Editor’s note: the following is an op-ed from Fisher Phillips. As the calendar turns to a new year, the Mine Safety and Health Administration appears to have found its footing – and that means mine operators need to be on their toes in 2023. After a presidential administration change, retirements throughout the inspector ranks, and an anemic regulatory agenda, MSHA…

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MSHA rolls out safety campaign

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has announced the “Take Time Save Lives” campaign to reach miners, promote best practice resources, and ensure mine operators have the tools they need to fully train miners to use equipment. “The purpose of this new campaign is simple: mine operators need to take the time to train miners on equipment and safety…

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MSHA’s Proposed Mobile Haulage Rule – Let’s Look Under This Baby’s Hood

By Willa B. Perlmutter The latest big development in the MSHA regulatory space is a proposed rule that would require mine operators to develop and implement written programs that focus on improving the safety of surface mobile equipment. Back in 2018, because of the disproportionately high contribution of mobile equipment to mine fatalities, MSHA asked for input so it could…

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Vaccination pilot program targets miners in Kentucky, Arizona

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a new program designed to encourage COVID-19 vaccination among miners in Kentucky and Arizona. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that vaccination rates are below 60% in the two states where a number of mining operations exist. The department’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) will pilot the Mine Vaccine Outreach…

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Proposed MSHA rule targets mobile equipment

MSHA announced a proposed rule in October requiring mine operators that employ six or more miners to develop a written safety program for mobile equipment and powered haulage equipment (except belt conveyors) used at surface mines and surface areas of underground mines. The written safety program would include actions mine operators would take to identify hazards and risks to reduce…

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MSHA: No mining operation meets POV criteria

For the seventh year in a row, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) found none of the nation’s 12,000 mining operations met the criteria for one of the agency’s toughest enforcement tools, its pattern of violations (POV) screening. In MSHA’s annual screening of operations from Aug. 1, 2020 to July 31, 2021, the agency found…

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Mandatory Vaccination Policies for Employees: What Can (and Should) We Do?

By Caroline J. Sundbaum and Willa B. Perlmutter, Stoel Rives LLP Just a few short months ago, we would have thought that COVID-19 was almost behind us and that it was only a matter of time before mine operators would no longer have to worry about the spread of the disease at their worksites. It looked like face masks and…

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