Jackson Kelly PLLC

Workplace Safety and Health News Alert


October 16, 2018

For clients and friends of Jackson Kelly PLLC
Volume 14, Number 15
©2018 Jackson Kelly PLLC

On Wednesday, October 17, 2018, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (“MSHA”) held its quarterly stakeholders’ call.  After the introductory remarks from MSHA’s Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health David G. Zatezalo, the call focused on updates regarding safety education and training, including the training of inspectors to efficiently consolidate enforcement of coal and metal/nonmetal operations.  Mr. Zatezalo stated that, earlier this month, MSHA began blurring the distinction between coal and metal/nonmetal enforcement by combining metal/nonmetal operations and coal operations in one district and cross-training inspectors to serve dual enforcement roles.  This covers approximately 90 mines.

Next, MSHA conducted a third quarter review of mining-related fatalities, detailing two coal and two metal/nonmetal fatal accidents.  This review led to a discussion over MSHA’s concerns regarding fire suppression systems (“FSS”) due to recent incidents involving equipment fires and malfunctioning fire suppression.  MSHA indicated that its personnel will focus enforcement on fire suppression systems for surface mining vehicles and encouraged operators to contact FSS manufacturers and to inspect FSS regularly to ensure proper operation.  MSHA encouraged operators to conduct thorough pre-operational examinations and required maintenance, and to ensure equipment operators and maintenance personnel have been adequately task trained. MSHA provided a link to an FSS presentation that you can access by clicking MSHA Fire Suppression System Presentation.  MSHA anticipates this enforcement emphasis will continue for the next six months.

MSHA also detailed its Powered Haulage Safety Outreach initiative which covers the haulage of materials and personnel. According to MSHA, powered haulage accidents accounted for half of the 28 U.S. mining fatalities in 2017.  The Powered Haulage Safety Outreach initiative primarily focuses on larger vehicles colliding with smaller vehicles, seat belt, and conveyor system safety.  You can access links to MSHA’s Powered Haulage Safety Outreach initiative and related matters here Powered Haulage Safety Initiative and Safety Topic: Conveyor Systems.

We will continue to monitor these initiatives and will provide you with any updates.  And as always, for questions regarding workplace safety, please contact Jackson Kelly PLLC.

Denver, Colorado

Responsible Attorney
Karen L. Johnston

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