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, August 13, 2012

New MSHA Rule Requires Inspections For 9 Hazards

Miners hanging a curtain to aid air circulation. (MSHA photo)
MSHA's "examinations" rule for underground coal mines effective Aug. 6. The new regulation requires mine operators to identify and correct hazardous conditions.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration's final rule "Examinations of Work Areas in Underground Coal Mines for Violations of Mandatory Health or Safety Standards," which was published April 6, 2012, in the Federal Register is no in effect. The rule requires mine operators to identify and correct hazardous conditions and violations of nine health and safety standards that pose the greatest risk to miners, including the kinds of conditions that led to the deadly explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine in April 2010.

After analyzing its accident reports and enforcement data for underground coal mines covering a five-year period, MSHA determined that the same types of violations of health or safety standards are found by MSHA inspectors in underground coal mines every year, and that these violations present some of the most unsafe conditions for coal miners.

The rule requires that, during pre-shift, supplemental, on-shift and weekly examinations, underground coal mine operators, in addition to examining for hazardous conditions as in the existing regulations, examine for violations of the nine specific health and safety standards. The rule also requires operators to record the actions taken to correct hazardous conditions, as in the existing regulations, and violations of the nine standards. Additionally, operators must review with mine examiners, on a quarterly basis, citations and orders issued in areas where pre-shift, supplemental, on-shift and weekly examinations are required.

The nine standards address:
  • ventilation
  • methane
  • roof control
  • combustible materials
  • rock dust
  • equipment guarding
  • other safeguards
They are consistent with the standards emphasized in MSHA's Rules to Live By initiative and the types of violations cited in MSHA's accident investigation report on the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion as contributing to the cause of that deadly accident. MSHA launched Rules to Live By, an outreach and enforcement program designed to strengthen efforts to prevent mining fatalities, in February 2010.

In 2011, MSHA issued approximately 158,000 violations, of which approximately 77,000 were attributable to underground coal mines, even though these mines represent just 4 percent of all mines.

Related Past Posts:
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posted by Steve Hudgik
View This Post - (1 Comments)


Anonymous rescue confined space said...

The hazards you mentioned here must be mandatory in every organization so that effective rescue can be made on time and the workers can be safe at workplaces also.

3:51 AM  

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