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What Information Can Be Obtained During Discovery?

In two recent cases on what information can be obtained during discovery, ALJs have taken different directions – one ruling in favor of an operator and one against. In a case involving inspector’s notes, ALJ Gary Melick said that MSHA over-reached in refusing to turn over inspector’s notes, requested by American Coal Co. during discovery.

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Storm Clouds Forming over MSHA

By James Sharpe

It is a convenient reason for justifying stepped up enforcement in the metal/non-metal sector, but Assistant Secretary Joe Main’s ongoing explanation that Congress made the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) do it, is a canard nonetheless.

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The Balance of Safety

By Randy Logsdon

Just what does “unsafe” mean? The question is a bit rhetorical, so don’t rush to your dictionary. The question is really about what “unsafe” means in context; it’s more than the opposite of “safe.”

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ALJ Dismisses More Than $75,000 in Penalties Where MSHA Submitted Late Filing

By Ellen Smith

In a case that has implications for the entire mining industry, a Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission judge dismissed $75,762 in civil penalties against a mine operator where MSHA failed to timely file with the Commission a routine petition for a civil penalty assessment. Administrative Law Judge Thomas P. McCarthy said MSHA could not establish adequate cause for filing petitions an average of 267 days late.

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9,144 Steps to Safety

By Randy Logsdon

As part of a personal wellness initiative, I’ve been tracking the number of steps I take during the course of each day. Using a pedometer, on one particular day, I recorded 9,144 steps.

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