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Placing Dewatering Pump Close to Highwall Edge Garners Penalty

A Missouri limestone operator was ordered to pay a $6,300 fine by FMSHRC Judge Margaret Miller for an S&S violation of §56.15005 after an MSHA inspector found a dewatering pump located within 4 ½ ft. from the edge of a highwall with a 70-ft. drop. MSHA claimed there was a danger of an employee falling off the edge if they were to retrieve the equipment.

 

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Toward Universal Compliance

Dictionary.com defines “compliance” as:

 

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Adapting to Change

On Sept. 24, 1960, I sat on the living room floor and intently watched the final episode of Howdy Doody. As an 8-year-old boy, Howdy Doody was the highlight of my Saturday morning ritual and I was devastated. The trauma was exacerbated when my 14-year-old brother explained that the program was canceled because Howdy (the show’s namesake marionette) was infested with termites. (I was young enough and naive enough to believe him.) There was nothing I could do. My Saturday mornings changed forever.

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Fine Reduced From $8,000 to $800 for Guarding Violation 

A violation of § 56.14105 was upheld as significant and substantial, but was not due to a contractor’s unwarrantable failure to comply with the standard where a guard was partially put back into place with equipment running. MSHA’s proposed fine of $8,000 was reduced to $800.

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Commission Need Not Decide on Validity of MSHA’s Penalty Criteria

Commission judges do not need to defer to any element of MSHA’s Part 100 regulations for assessing civil penalties, since the Commission has a Congressional mandate to independently assess penalties after making findings of fact, the Commission ruled in a Sept. 16 decision.

 

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