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DuraLabel's Weekly Safety News

Blog Author Angelique Sanders

Weekly safety news. Stay in touch with regulations from OSHA, NFPA, and other safety codes. Find out about other companies' best and worst practices. We scour the internet to provide you with helpful training resources and the latest safety information.


Monday, July 23, 2012

New Mine Safety Rule Results In The Ultimate "Catch-22"

An article in JDSupra discusses a new mining safety rule that goes into effect on August 6, 2012, and points out that it is a lose-lose situation for mine operators.

Read the article here.

The new rule is called the “Examination of Work Areas in Underground Coal Mines for Violations of Mandatory Health and Safety Standards.”

The JDSupra article points out that: "This new rule will impact the manner in which [safety] examinations are conducted, recorded and corrective action taken. The new rule will also give rise to potential increased liability of mine operators and their examiners personally and increase the financial burdens on an industry already facing unprecedented regulation, economic strain, decreased coal demand and permitting, layoffs and mine closures."

Examiners are employees of the mine. They conduct period safety examinations of the mine, as frequently as once a shift, to spot potential safety hazards and report them to management for correction.

Under the new rule, however, when a federal safety inspector cites a min operator for a violation of one of a safety standards, the federal safety inspector will undoubtedly also cite the operator for a failure to conduct an adequate pre-shift or on-shift examination where the cited condition is not recorded in any examination book.

On the other hand when an examiner diligently observes and records a condition, the federal safety inspector will use the examination books as the foundation to issue citations for those recorded conditions, even in instances where the observed conditions did not pose a hazard and the operator had not yet had a reasonable opportunity to correct the conditions.

The Catch-22 is that no matter what the mine operator does, they will be cited by federal safety inspectors.  MSHA will cite the operator for inadequate examinations regardless of whether or not a condition has been observed and recorded, whether or not it could have developed between examinations and regardless of its level of severity.

Related Past Posts:
Mining Deaths Second Lowest In A Century
MSHA Bringing Out The Big Guns
Workplace InjuriesRise Following Change To Daylight Savings Time

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posted by Steve Hudgik
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1 Comments:

Anonymous confined space rescue teams said...

This is a great step towards safety of employees working in mines as such steps are mandatory for them because a lot of people die here and accidents occurs just because they couldn't get proper rescue.

10:58 PM  

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