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MSHA announces another delay for final rule on pre-shift mine examinations

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Arlington, VA – The Mine Safety and Health Administration has put on hold until June 2 the effective date of a final rule intended to improve pre-shift examinations of metal and non-metal mines.

According to the announcement, published in the Oct. 5 Federal Register, MSHA also has reinstated the provisions of the working place examination standards that went into effect on Oct. 1.

The final rule was scheduled to go into effect March 2, 2018, after numerous delays. However, MSHA agreed with public commenters who “maintained that, since substantive changes to the January 2017 final rule were proposed at the same time” as the most recent delay last month, “it is imprudent to establish any effective date until an amended final rule is promulgated and the substance of the rule is known.”

The agency’s proposed changes “would require that an examination of the working place be conducted before work begins or as miners begin work in that place, and that the examination record include descriptions of adverse conditions that are not corrected promptly and the dates of corrective action for these conditions.” The original rule requires that a competent person examine the jobsite before miners begin work.

MSHA is scheduled to host four public hearings on the proposed changes: Oct. 24 in Arlington, VA; Oct. 26 in Salt Lake City; Oct. 31 in Birmingham, AL; and Nov. 2 in Pittsburgh.

Comments on the proposed changes are due by Nov. 13.

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