Two mining deaths within 24 hours in which the victims were working alone and in restricted areas where there were hazardous conditions highlights the need to observe best practices to avoid hazardous areas and avoid working alone, among other tips. Both were in underground mines, one coal and one limestone.

Download Alert (pdf) here.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration announced federal inspectors issued 132 citations and two orders during special impact inspections conducted at 10 coal mines and five metal and nonmetal mines in December 2016.

MSHA conducted special impact inspections at mines in Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Monthly impact inspections began in force in April 2010 at mines that merit increased agency attention and enforcement due to their poor compliance history or particular compliance concerns. Since then, MSHA inspectors have conducted 1,270 impact inspections and issued 17,255 citations, 1,331 orders and 62 safeguards.

Click here for: MSHA link to spreadsheet (pdf).

The Mine Safety and Health Administration announces a final rule that will enhance the quality of working place examinations in metal and nonmetal mines.  The final rule improves miners’ safety and health by requiring mine operators to: (1) conduct working place examinations to identify hazards before work begins in an area, (2) notify affected miners of hazardous conditions that are not corrected immediately; and (3) record the locations examined, the adverse conditions found, and the date of the corrective action.

Check out the MSHA page here or

Download PDF of final rule here.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration announced federal inspectors issued 152 citations and five orders during special impact inspections conducted at 10 coal mines and seven metal and nonmetal mines in November 2016.

MSHA conducted special impact inspections at mines in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.

Monthly impact inspections began in force in April 2010 at mines that merit increased agency attention and enforcement due to their poor compliance history or particular compliance concerns. Since then, MSHA inspectors have conducted 1,255 impact inspections and issued 17,123 citations, 1,329 orders and 62 safeguards.

Click here for: MSHA link to spreadsheet (pdf).

jmain-reformattedToday MSHA held a briefing to present their proposed rule change for Workplace Examinations in Metal-Nonmetal. My preliminary assessment is that it makes the following changes:

  • Examinations will be required at the START of each shift. Yes, I’ve said this in Refresher classes. It’s silly, but the current rule just says that it’s required during each shift. No problem here. If you’re doing it effectively now you’re already doing it at the start of the shift.
  • Examination records must include hazards found and corrections made. This is the stickiest of things to include in an MSHA required report, but again an important part of a good safety examination process. Joe Main dodged the question of how MSHA Inspectors may or may not use these records to write citations based on the hazards recorded by iterating that this was a briefing and such questions were more correctly addressed during the 90 day comment period to commence tomorrow.
  • Examination records must be available to miners and miner representatives. While this  isn’t included in the current rule again, an effective program certainly has to warn the workers who would be exposed to the hazard or even a corrected hazard.

Check out the MSHA FACT SHEET here.

3D chain breaking - isolated over a white background

MSHA has a wonderful new arrangement to it’s web page. Truly, it seems easier to navigate and more logically arranged than ever, BUT it also means that many of the hundreds of links from this site may no longer work. You’ll know because instead of what you’re looking for you’ll find the dreaded 404 Error page. If you’re in a hurry you can probably find the page you’re looking for by replacing the “www” in the address on the page where you found the 404 Error message with “arlweb”.

Let me know, though when you find one by emailing me at randy@completesafetysolutions.com.

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pennstateminerThe Penn State Miner Training Program, in cooperation with government and industry sponsors, is hosting a seminar and a series of professional development workshops on January 20th and 21st, 2016 at the Holiday Inn Conference Center—Lehigh Valley. The objective of the seminar and the workshops is to enhance the safety management skills of supervisors.

View the flyer here. (pdf)

Holiday Greetings

Dec 1, 2015

Fun house

We’d like to be the first to wish you holiday greetings, but of course we’d have to have done that in August or something like that. 😉 Seriously, we know we’re not the first, but don’t want to be the last either, so be safe. No time is more precious than today whether it’s before a holiday or not. We want to remind you of that here at Complete Safety Solutions. Give the gift of yourself and be sure to do your work the way you know it’s supposed to be done, safely. In spite of a bad start, it looks like mining may end up with at least a better year than last year when it comes to fatalities. Still, too many homes are missing a loved-one this season that they shouldn’t have had to miss. It’s hard to say how we can prevent all mining related deaths, but it’s very simple to prevent the next one. Do your share and work safely.

We wish the best of everything. Enjoy the holidays.

Randy and Jolene

Download MSHA’s Holiday Alert here. (pdf)

MSHA-logoSEASONAL SAFETY ALERT

Historically, October has been the most deadly month for the metal and nonmetal mining industry, with 51 fatalities occurring in the month of October since 2000. During this fall period MSHA intends to continue enhanced enforcement, education and outreach with a special emphasis on the historically high number of mining deaths.

 

Particular attention will be paid to intermittent mines that are beginning to shut down and prepare for the winter season, and the many full time operations that are performing annual repairs in advance of inclement weather. During these activities, many miners may be performing new or unfamiliar tasks, or may be assisting maintenance personnel on jobs they rarely perform, using unfamiliar tools and equipment. Mine operators must assure miners are adequately trained to do those tasks and are protected from hazards.

 

MSHA’s increased vigilance during this period of historically higher deaths will focus additional resources on increased enforcement attention, education and outreach, including walk-and-talks. We are encouraging the mining industry to do the same. MSHA has provided the mining industry with information on mining deaths and best practices to prevent them, particularly since the fall of 2013 when mining deaths increased. Please make sure that information gets distributed. MSHA will be looking hard for the conditions identified leading to those deaths. MNM inspectors, joined by Coal inspectors and Educational Field and Small Mines Services personnel will be visiting mines, calling attention to potentially hazardous tasks and conditions and discussing safe work practices with miners. Please join MSHA in this special safety outreach and help us spread the word to the miners at your operations. This is the time to be proactive. Assure that workplace examinations are being conducted to identify and fix hazards, and that miners are properly trained, including task training to recognize and avoid hazards so they can go home safe and healthy at the end of each shift.

 

A link follows to a Seasonal Safety Alert recently published on MSHA’s website.
Seasonal Safety Alert (pdf)

For more information on the mining deaths that have occurred and best practices to prevent them, please go to Best Practices (powerpoint)

Please use the photos and descriptions to prompt discussions about fatalities and how to prevent them.

MSHA-logoThe U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration announced that federal inspectors issued issued 139 citations, three orders and one safeguard during special impact inspections in June at 10 coal mines and five metal and nonmetal mines. MSHA conducted impact inspections at mines in Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

Begun in force in April 2010, the monthly inspections involve mines that merit increased agency attention and enforcement due to their poor compliance history or particular compliance concerns.

Click here for: MSHA link to spreadsheet (pdf).