Mine Safety Agency Issues Alert to Prevent Fall Accidents

The Mine Safety and Health Administration has issued a safety alert on preventing accidents at mines from miners falling.

MSHA said that in the past decade, 29 miners have died at metal and nonmetal mines when they fell from the area where they worked, such as on heavy equipment, ladders, and conveyor walkways.  To read the full article, written by Nickole Winnett, click here.

California’s Free Mining & Tunneling Training Schedule

California enforces its own mining and tunneling regulations through Cal/OSHA’s Mining and Tunneling (M&T) Unit.  The main function of this specialized unit is to investigate complaints and accidents in mines and tunnels and to issue citations to employers that violate regulations.  The M&T Unit also conducts pre-job safety conferences and issues permits prior to the commencement of underground mining or tunneling.  The M&T department also conducts random/periodic inspections of tunnels, underground mines, and surface mines and quarries.

The M&T Unit has a specialized mine safety training offered free for mine operators and employees. The safety training is geared to provide education to new miners and refreshers to experience miners.

The M&T Unit offers free classes in Sacramento and San Bernardino. The classes include training in educating miners in 30 CFR parts 46 and 48 New Miner Training; 30 CFR parts 46 and 48 Newly Hired Experienced Miner Training; and 30 CFR parts 46 and 48 Annual Refresher Training for surface mining.

M&T’s website lists the following times and dates for MSHA Training:


New Miner Training: March 27, 28, 29; April 24, 25, 26; May 30, 31; June 1.

Annual Refresher: April 21; May 25; June 23.

San Bernardino:

New Miner Training: March 21, 22, 23; April 11, 12, 13; May 16, 17, 18; June 20, 21, 22.

Annual Refresher: April 19; May 10; June 14.

You can find out more about Cal/OSHA’s M&T Training services by visiting the organizations website.


MSHA Announces Results of Special Impact Inspections From December 2016

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration has announced the results of its monthly special impact inspections from December 2016. During the month, MSHA conducted inspections at 10 coal mines and five metal and nonmetal mines during the month and issued 132 citations.  The inspections took place at mines in Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

This is a continuation of MSHA’s monthly impact inspections which started in April 2010. These inspections focus on mines with a poor compliance history or particular compliance issues.  In total, MSHA inspectors have conducted 1,270 impact inspections and issued 17,255 citations, 1,331 orders and 62 safeguards since these monthly inspections began.

This continued enforcement effort comes on the heel of MSHA reporting that 2016 had the lowest number of mining deaths on record. For 2016, only 26 miners died in work-related accidents which followed 2015 where only 29 miners died.  Out of approximately 330,000 miners working in more than 13,000 U.S. mines, this fatality rate is less than .01%.

Even with the change in Administration, there is no indication that MSHA will pull back on its current schedule of monthly inspections especially in light of the reduction in miner deaths. Thus mine operators and other affected industries must continue to ensure that they are prepared for such inspections and have effective safety and health programs in place that address the specific conditions and hazards.

Jackson Lewis attorneys are available to assist clients with their worker safety programs.