As a reminder, on April 9, 2018, MSHA published a final rule (effective June 2, 2018) that amends a rule issued in January 2017. This rule provides mine operators additional flexibility in managing their safety and health programs and reduces regulatory burdens without reducing the protections afforded miners.
The revised rule requires that:
- A competent person examine each working place for conditions that may adversely affect the safety or health of miners. The working place must be examined at least once each shift, before work begins or as miners begin work in that place.
- Promptly initiate appropriate corrective action when adverse conditions are found.
- Promptly notify miners in affected areas if adverse conditions are found and not corrected before miners are potentially exposed.
- Withdraw all persons from affected areas when alerted to any conditions that may present an imminent danger, until the danger is abated.
- Create an examination record before the end of each shift that includes:
- The name of the person conducting the examination;
- Date of the examination;
- Location of all areas examined;
- A description of each condition found that may adversely affect the safety or health of miners that is not promptly corrected; and
- The date when the described condition is corrected.
Click here to view the main link on the MSHA webpage that contain additional multiple quick links on the right side of the page including several templates to document the examinations.
However, even though the new rule is in effect MAA has been informed that MSHA will not issue citations related to the new Workplace Exams Rule until Oct. 1, 2018. This gives operators time to understand the rule and the agency time to provide additional compliance assistance. Note that the agency may issue citations in the case of extremely dangerous hazards.