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MSHA delays effective date of metal, non-metal examinations rule

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Arlington, VA – The Mine Safety and Health Administration has delayed until Oct. 2 the effective date of a final rule intended to improve pre-shift examinations of metal and non-metal mines, according to a notice published in the May 22 Federal Register.

The rule was scheduled to go into effect May 23, but MSHA chose to further extend the effective date after considering public comments from an earlier proposal to delay the effective date to July 24.

“This additional delay will address commenters’ concerns regarding sufficient time for MSHA to inform and educate the mining community, including mines that operate intermittently,” the notice states. “The extension also affords both large and small mine operators the needed time to implement recordkeeping systems to comply with the final rule.”

Requirements of the rule include:

  • A competent person must examine the jobsite before miners start work.
  • Mine operators must quickly notify miners of conditions that could harm their safety or health.
  • A competent person must sign and date the examination record before the end of every shift. The examination record should include a description of the locations examined, conditions found and, if applicable, the corrective actions that were taken.
  • Records must be available for inspection by MSHA and miners’ representatives.

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