MSHA proposes pre-shift rule change

January 7, 2011

Arlington, VA – The Mine Safety and Health Administration in December announced a proposed rule (.pdf file) that would revise requirements for pre-shift, supplemental, on-shift and weekly workplace examinations.

Under the proposed rule, mine operators would be responsible for conducting complete examinations, correcting violations, and reviewing all related citations and orders with mine examiners on a quarterly basis.

The existing standard requires operators to identify, correct and record hazardous conditions. The proposal would require operators to do the same for violations of mandatory health and safety standards.

"Examinations are the first line of defense for miners working in underground coal mines," said MSHA administrator Joseph A. Main. "Mine operators must take ownership for their workers' health and safety by conducting basic workplace examinations to assure they are in compliance with health and safety standards."

The agency said it decided to propose changes after reviewing incident investigation reports that showed MSHA inspectors find the same types of violations every year.