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Changes Coming to MSHA Should Have Operators Smiling

By James Sharpe

Prospects for a significant uptick in aggregate sales may be uncertain, but a development that should largely brighten the outlook of mine operators is the evolving role of MSHA at their workplaces.

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Company Fined $15,000 for Highwall Violations

By Ellen Smith

Two citations for loose material in an overhanging highwall led to $15,000 in fines for Hoover Inc. for failing to correct hazardous conditions in violation of §56.3200. In one citation, the ALJ increased the penalty.

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Finest Hour

By Randy Logsdon

The scene is Mission Control; NASA. The room can be characterized as organized chaos. In a side conversation, two NASA officials (one, the NASA director) are discussing the dim prospects of successful reentry and recovery of the Apollo 13 astronauts. It’s not promising. The scene is from the 1995 movie Apollo 13.

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Impact Inspections

MSHA announced that federal inspectors issued 377 citations and orders during special impact inspections conducted at 15 coal and seven metal/nonmetal mine operations last month. The coal mines were issued 208 citations and seven orders while the metal/nonmetal mines were issued 148 citations and 14 orders.

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Compliance with Air Contaminants Rule Should Start Now

By James Sharpe

Like it or not, aggregate producers should begin preparing now for a new air contaminants enforcement program coming from the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).

Concerned about harmful overexposures that could adversely affect the health of metal/non-metal miners, MSHA announced late last year that it would soon begin a push to enforce 56/57.5002. The standard requires operators to conduct dust, gas, mist and fume surveys as often as necessary to determine the adequacy of control measures. MSHA expects operators to pro-actively demonstrate compliance.

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