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MSHA updates definitions of gravity, negligence in civil penalty proposal


Arlington, VA – The Mine Safety and Health Administration has clarified certain provisions of a proposed rule that would amend how civil penalties are assessed.

In response to stakeholder criticism of the rule, which was proposed July 31, MSHA published a notice in the Feb. 10 Federal Register intended to clear up various provisions regarding negligence categories and how the agency will assess the gravity – or seriousness – of an incident.

For example, MSHA states that criteria that would result in an employer being categorized as “negligent” under the current rule would not result in a category leading to higher penalties under the proposed rule. Additionally, the agency clarified the proposed definitions regarding the likelihood of an injury or illness occurring, which helps determine gravity and how many penalty points an employer receives.

Comments on the clarifications are due March 31.