How MSHA is responding to the coronavirus

By |  March 27, 2020

Logo: MSHA

The Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) is not immune to the impact of the coronavirus, but the agency says it will continue to perform essential functions such as mandatory inspections, serious accident investigations and investigations of hazard complaints.

To the extent feasible, however, MSHA says inspectors will maintain their distance from miners while performing their duties.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, MSHA has suspended Educational Field and Small Mine Services visits, as well as special safety and fatality initiatives that typically gather groups of miners on site to discuss powered haulage, electrocution and contractor safety.

MSHA is also working with mine operators on several recertifications, although new miners must still be trained before beginning work.

According to MSHA, it is abiding by President Trump’s coronavirus guidelines that are based on Centers for Disease Control & Prevention input. The agency says it will also encourage inspectors to work with operators and participate in screenings or questionnaires designed to minimize the spread of the coronavirus.

Additionally, the agency notes that it recognizes some mining operations are not running at full capacity and have limited crews working. If a mine operator alerts MSHA to changes in production at a site, MSHA will, to the extent possible, limit the number of inspectors sent to that mine for a regular inspection that’s proportional with the mine’s continuing operations.

For more on MSHA’s response to the coronavirus, visit For additional P&Q coverage related to the coronavirus, visit our dedicated webpage.

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

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

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