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Citation Vacated Where Employee Failed to Wear Fall Protection

By Ellen Smith

An operator cannot be held liable for an employee failing to wear fall protection if the employer supplied fall-protection equipment, trained workers in its use, and required fall protection in all hazardous situations, Review Commission ALJ Priscilla Rae has ruled.

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MSHA Reports Half-Year Fatality Analysis

From Jan. 1, 2013, to June 30, 2013, 18 miners died in accidents in the mining industry, according to MSHA. Nine died in coal mining accidents and nine in metal and nonmetal mining accidents. In both coal and metal and nonmetal mining, one of the miners killed was a contractor.

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Recent MSHA Outreach with Metal/Nonmetal Stakeholders

By Joseph A. Main

One of my initiatives when I arrived at MSHA was to get out into the mining community and meet with our stakeholders to share what we are doing at MSHA and discuss how we could improve mine safety and health.

We have attended many stakeholder events across the country since then. Working with our stakeholders, we have undertaken numerous initiatives that have improved MSHA enforcement consistency, mine operator compliance, and mine safety and health. These efforts have, coupled with other actions, been highly successful.

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Double Check for Your Safety

By Randy K. Logsdon

First Quiz Question: The electrical equipment in your work area suddenly quits. Nothing seems to be working right today. You make the trek over to the motor control center and discover that the circuit breaker for the equipment has tripped. What is your next course of action?

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VPID Formula Skews Fines for Small Operators

By Ellen Smith

In a decision rejecting the way MSHA determines penalties, ALJ Michael Zielinski essentially threw out MSHA’s use of “violations per inspection day” for small operations, stating that the federal agency’s formula skews the violation history of small mines, and can lead to higher penalties.

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