Archives: Trends in Mine Safety and Health

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Administrative Law Judges Requiring Enhanced Justification for Citation Modifications and Penalty Reductions

In recent months, Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission judges have been rejecting settlement agreements and denying settlement motions with more frequency due to a lack of justification for proposed citation modifications and penalty reductions. In most cases, settlements between mine operators and the Department of Labor (DOL) were approved by the Administrative Law … Continue Reading

Mobile Equipment Accidents Contribute to Metal/Non-Metal Fatalities in 2017

During 2017, there have been multiple metal/non-metal fatalities involving mobile equipment. The most recent fatalgram posted on the MSHA website described an October 17, 2017 fatality involving an operator that was ejected from the cab of a bulldozer and subsequently run over. On October 31, 2017, a mine accident resulted in the death of two … Continue Reading

Mine Safety Agency Proposes Further Changes to the Examinations of Working Places in Metal and Nonmetal Mines Final Rule

On September 12, 2017, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) published two proposed rules seeking to further amend the Examinations of Working Places in Metal and Nonmetal Mines final rule which was published on January 23, 2017.  The rule was scheduled to go into effect on May 23, 2017 but MSHA has delayed the … Continue Reading

Mine Safety Agency Issues Accident Alert on Haul Truck Operations

The Mine Safety and Health Administration issued a “Close Call Accident Alert” after a June 19, 2017, accident involving a haul truck driver. In the incident, MSHA said, a haul truck driver with six weeks of experience traveled into the pit loading area and waited to be loaded. The driver stopped the haul truck about … Continue Reading

MSHA decides that the White House’s Regulatory Freeze Does Not Apply to its New Rule

MSHA decided to move forward with its controversial Examination of Workplaces in Metal and Nonmetal Mines Rule without regard to a White House Memorandum requesting federal agencies to delay rules for sixty days. (see our Blog on this Rule from October  The Rule became final on January 23, 2017 with an effective date of May 23, 2017.  Although … Continue Reading

MSHA Issues New October Safety Alert

MSHA issued a new Seasonal Safety Alert this month.  The “Deadly October” Safety Alert  highlights the  high number of miner deaths that occurred during the month of October from 1998 through 2015 and the best practices that could prevent future deaths. MSHA found that 61 miners died at metal and nonmetal operations during “Deadly October” over … Continue Reading

MSHA Requests More Money and Authority as the Coal Industry Struggles

Coal is down. That’s not news to anyone who pays even the slightest attention to the industry.  Peabody Energy Corp., the largest U.S. coal mining company, just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, following the path taken by Arch Coal, Inc., Alpha Natural Resources, Inc., Patriot Coal Corp. and Walter Energy, Inc. Amidst this economic … Continue Reading