MSHA changes communication procedure

March 7, 2012

Arlington, VA – The Mine Safety and Health Administration has made changes to how the agency communicates technical information to mine operators.

MSHA’s procedure for transmitting documents to mine operators came into question following a September news report that found the agency failed to provide a mine operator with a document detailing findings and safety recommendations from a 2008 agency investigation at the worksite.

In November, House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman Rep. John Kline (R-MN) requested (.pdf file) MSHA review its protocols for sharing pertinent safety information based on investigations.

Following its review, MSHA on Feb. 16 issued a procedure instruction letter informing agency staff of new processes intended to ensure timely delivery of the recommendations, including hosting a meeting with mine operators to discuss findings based on preliminary results, placing district managers in charge of transmitting safety reports, and documenting the report’s delivery.

“Safety reports should never fall through the cracks of federal bureaucracy,” Kline said in a March 1 press release. “Instead, they must be placed in the hands of mine operators who have a responsibility to address any concerns.”