MSHA Rule Aims to Ensure Timely Identification of Adverse Conditions
A final rule published on Jan. 23 amends MSHA’s standards for the examination of working places in metal and nonmetal mines. The rule requires mine operators to examine working places before miners begin work in an area. Under the rule, operators will also be required to notify miners of any conditions found that may adversely affect their health or safety; promptly initiate corrective action for hazardous conditions; and record locations examined, adverse conditions found, and the date of corrective action.
Another major provision of the final rule requires a competent person to examine the working place before miners begin work there.
“[MSHA] has determined that examinations of working places are an important part of an effective accident prevention strategy; they are a first line of defense because they allow operators to find and fix conditions,” the
Federal Register
reads. “The final rule will result in more effective and consistent working place examinations by helping to ensure that adverse conditions will be timely identified, communicated to miners, and corrected, thereby improving miners' safety and health.”
The rule is set to go into effect on May 23, 2017, but may be affected by the regulatory freeze put in place by the Trump administration on Jan. 20.