Jan. 4, 2017 – In a last-ditch effort to thwart the Obama administration’s push of a deeply flawed MSHA workplace exams proposal, NSSGA officials met with the White House’s Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Info and Regulatory Information (OIRA) to stress that the rule is not necessary and that current regulations are sufficient to protect workers in quarries. OIRA is the last opportunity to stop for a proposed rule before its finalized.
“The industry’s historically low injury rates demonstrate a collective commitment to safe practices. The data shows that aggregates operators are committed to performing workplace exams and that the current rule works well,” said Joseph Casper, NSSGA VP for Safety and Health.
Casper and Brian McNamara of Bluegrass Materials asserted that there is no basis for the proposal, given that MSHA has provided no credible or empirical evidence that the current rule is not being complied with, or is insufficient. They also told OIRA officials that certain provisions would undercut operator ability to effectively manage for safety, due largely to increased paperwork burdens. NSSGA estimates that the cost of compliance for small operators will be up to $25 million – more than two-and-a-half times MSHA’s low-balled estimate for the industry overall.
The association has been working with regulators and lawmakers for the last seven months to stop the rule. If finalized in the waning hours of the Obama administration, NSSGA will urge the incoming Trump administration to reverse this unneeded action.