Last chance to block MSHA workplace examination rule

The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association has made a last effort to block the Obama administration’s MSHA workplace exams proposal.

The association describes the rule as “deeply flawed”.  Association officials, Casper and Brian McNamara of Bluegrass Materials,  met with the White House’s Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Info and Regulatory Information to stress that the rule is not necessary and that current regulations are sufficient to protect workers in quarries.

The Budget’s Office is the last opportunity to stop a proposed rule before it is finalized.

“The industry’s historically low injury rates demonstrate a collective commitment to safe practices.  The data shows that aggregates operators are committed to performing workplace exams and that the current rule works well,” said Joseph Casper, vice president for Safety and Health at the association.

Casper and Brian McNamara say that there is no basis for the proposal, given that MSHA has provided no credible or empirical evidence that the current rule is not being complied with, or is insufficient.

They also told officials that certain provisions would undercut operator ability to effectively manage for safety, due largely to increased paperwork burdens. The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association estimates that the cost of compliance for small operators will be up to $25 million – more than two and-a-half times MSHA’s estimate for the industry overall.

The association has been working with regulators and lawmakers for the last seven months to stop the rule. If finalized in the waning hours of the Obama administration, the association will urge the incoming Trump administration to reverse this “unneeded action”.

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