MSHA Releases 2015 Regulatory Agenda

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) released its fall regulatory agenda Nov. 24. The agency states that it is on track in conducting the rulemaking on reform of civil penalties; comments are due Jan. 9, according to the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association.

Additionally, the agency reports that in October 2015, it will issue a rulemaking on crystalline silica, based on the work done by sister agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. This will address silica’s health effects and risk, as appropriate for the mining industry. Inclusion of this item on the agenda is confusing, as MSHA notably dropped it from its spring regulatory agenda.

Also on the agenda is an April 2015 request for possible approaches that would improve the control of diesel particulate matter and diesel exhaust.

Added to the agenda is a June 2015 request for information on the examination of workplaces to determine the adequacy of the agency’s existing standards. MSHA is also considering whether issuing guidance or disseminating best practices would effectively accomplish the agency’s goal.

Finally, MSHA includes a statement that it will propose a rule concerning proximity detection systems in underground mines in January 2015. The agency asserts that the rule would strengthen protection for underground miners by reducing the potential of pinning, crushing or striking hazards associated with mobile equipment.

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