MSHA Chief Calls On Mining Industry to Stay Vigilant for Safety

MSHA Assistant Secretary Chris Williamson has penned an open letter to the mining community: Dear Members of the Mining Community: Last year, as the mining industry experienced a troubling increase in fatal accidents, I asked the mining community to join the Mine Safety and Health Administration in identifying and eliminating safety and health hazards that can cost miners their lives.…

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Inconsistency and Confusion ‘Rules’ the Day

MSHA’s “Safety Program for Surface Mobile Equipment” Rule Should Be Viewed As A Tool To Help Mining Companies Protect Their Workers And Manage Accidents. By Joseph P. McGuire Labeled a “Christmas Surprise,” the MSHA “Safety Program for Surface Mobile Equipment” rule was signed into law on Dec. 20, 2023. It became effective on Jan. 19, 2024, and requires mine operators…

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Department of Labor to Honor Workers Whose Jobs Claimed Their Lives

When the nation first observed Workers Memorial Day on April 28, 1970, an estimated 38 U.S. workers suffered fatal on-the-job injuries each day and many more endured debilitating respiratory diseases and other life-altering illnesses related to workplace exposures. Today, work-related injuries in the U.S. claim about 15 people’s lives a day. In 2022, a reported 5,486 workers suffered fatal injuries,…

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MSHA Issues Alert on Rotating Conveyor Rollers

MSHA is reporting that three miners have been permanently disabled since the beginning of 2024 because of rotating conveyor rollers. Serious and fatal injuries occur when miners clean or adjust conveyor rollers, pulleys and idlers while the belt is in motion. Injuries vary from broken bones to loss of fingers, hands and arms. Some accidents have resulted in fatal injuries. …

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MSHA’s November Impact Inspections: 184 Violations at 14 Mines

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration completed impact inspections at 14 mines in 10 states in November 2023, issuing 184 violations and one safeguard. The agency began impact inspections after an April 2010 explosion in West Virginia at the Upper Big Branch Mine killed 29 miners. To date, MSHA’s impact inspections in 2023 have identified 2,491…

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MSHA Announces Mobile Equipment Rule

The U.S. Department of Labor announced a final rule from its Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to help protect miners from accidents, injuries and fatalities related to surface mobile equipment. The rule requires mine operators to have written safety programs for surface mobile equipment — excluding belt conveyors — at surface mines and underground mines’ surface areas. The programs…

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IME Renews Safety Alliance with MSHA to Promote Safe, Healthy Mining Operations

At the 2023 annual meeting of the Institute of Makers of Explosives (IME), IME President Clark Mica and the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s (MSHA) Administrator for Mine Safety and Health Enforcement Brian Goepfert announced the renewal of a collaborative relationship to continue fostering safe and healthy working conditions at the nation’s mining operations. The announcement, under the authority of…

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MSHA Continues Impact Inspections

The U.S. Department of Labor announced that its Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) completed impact inspections at 20 mines in 15 states in April 2023 and found 335 violations. Since Jan. 1, 2023, MSHA’s inspections identified 914 violations, including 257 significant and substantial and 18 unwarrantable failure findings. A significant and substantial violation is one reasonably likely to cause…

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McGuire: Many Companies Already Complying with New Silica Proposal

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on June 30 announced a proposal by its Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to amend current federal standards to better protect the nation’s miners from health hazards related to exposure to respirable crystalline silica, or silica dust. The proposed rule change will ensure miners have at least the same level of protections as workers in…

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