Court upholds determination 
involving MSHA standard

By |  June 28, 2013

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit unanimously agreed this week that failure to maintain emergency lifelines in a manner miners can use effectively is a Significant and Substantial (S&S) violation, regardless of the likelihood of a mine emergency occurring at the time of the violation. The circuit court upheld a Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission determination from June 7 that a mining company’s failures regarding emergency lifelines were in violation of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977.

“Mine emergency protections need to be in place before an emergency occurs,” says Joe Main, assistant secretary of labor for MSHA. “The court recognized that the absence of such protections is a serious matter, to be taken seriously if miners are to have these protections when they need them the most.”

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Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or

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