October 10, 2019

MSHA Reinstates Regulatory Provisions for Workplace Examinations in Mines

MSHA has reinstated the regulatory provisions for examinations of working places in metal and nonmetal mines that were published in a final rule on January 23, 2017. In April 2018, MSHA modified the rule to require that workplace examinations be conducted at least once per shift or as miners begin work. The reinstated final rule requires that the examinations be conducted before work begins, not as miners begin work. The second provision affected by the reinstated rule requires that examination records include descriptions of all adverse conditions found, not just those adverse conditions that are not corrected promptly.

Another major provision of the final rule requires a competent person to examine each working place for conditions that may adversely affect the safety or health of miners. Mine operators must also promptly initiate appropriate corrective action when adverse conditions are found and notify miners in affected areas if adverse conditions are found and not corrected before miners are potentially exposed.

The reinstated final rule went into effect on Sept. 30, 2019, following a June 11 order by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and a mandate on Aug. 23 requiring the action. More information, including updated FAQs, is available on MSHA’s website.