MSHA pauses examination rule

The US Department of Labor will take time to review an MSHA rule on workplace examinations.

Patricia Silvey, MSHA deputy assistant secretary for operations, told the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association  today that stakeholder outreach was originally slated to begin in March but will now proceed “at an appropriate time.”

“I don’t expect any change over the next month or so,” she said. The rule was published in the Federal Register on Jan. 23 and set to go into effect on May 23. As currently written, the rule requires examinations before work begins in a work area.

Adverse conditions found during an exam, the dates that exams were conducted, abatements made and the name of the examiner are to be documented. The rule also calls for prompt notification of affected miners to hazards found and not immediately corrected.

The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association is “pleased that the Labor Department will take time to review this rule, and has continually voiced deep concerns that it risks impeding an operator’s ability to effectively manage for safety.

The association has aggressively pursued options to challenge the rule, including sharing concerns with Trump administration officials.

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