Coal Tattoo

After mine disaster, MSHA considers new rules

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The Obama administration’s new “regulatory agenda” for the Department of Labor is out today, and there are a few new items from the Mine Safety and Health Administration:

— MSHA in October of 2011 plans to publish a “request for information” regarding a potential new rule on company “safety and health management programs” for mines.

— MSHA plans in January 2011 to publish a proposed rule to revise its existing regulations concerning the assessment of civil penalties for violations of health and safety standards.

— MSHA also plans in January 2011 to publish a proposed rule to revise its “pattern of violation” regulations.

— MSHA will in March 2011 publish a proposed rule that will broaden what current regulations require as far as pre-shift safety checks at underground mines.  Currently, MSHA regulations require only that pre-shift examinations look for “hazardous conditions.” MSHA wants to instead require what federal law actually mandates — safety checks for any violations of mandatory health and safety standards.

MSHA has scheduled a “Web Chat” Wednesday at 10 a.m. to discuss its regulatory agenda.