Industry, MSHA talk business in the Midwest

By |  August 29, 2019
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Representatives from eight different states were present for the MSHA stakeholder meeting hosted in August 2019 in Cincinnati. Photo courtesy of OAIMA

Aggregate industry stakeholders met Aug. 26 with David Zatezalo, assistant secretary of the Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA), and Brian Goepfert, MSHA’s deputy administrator for metal/nonmetal mining, to discuss pressing mine safety matters.

The meeting took place at the Jurgensen Companies’ headquarters in Cincinnati.

The Ohio Aggregates & Industrial Minerals Association (OAIMA) organized the meeting, which included representatives from eight states, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The goal of the meeting was to foster and improve the industry’s working relationship with MSHA, according to OAIMA.

Pat Jacomet, executive director of OAIMA, delivered opening remarks before Zatezalo addressed the group, providing a progress report on the agency’s “One MSHA” initiative. Zatezalo also discussed MSHA redistricting with the group.

In addition, representatives from each state made their own brief presentations, outlining concerns within their respective states and pointing out areas in need of improvement.

All state representatives agreed a need for additional compliance assistance exists, OAIMA says.

Another topic discussed was MSHA’s new website, including the difficulty navigating it and obtaining vital information.

Workplace exams rule

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From left: MSHA’s Brian Goepfert and David Zatezalo visit with OAIMA’s Pat Jacomet. Photo courtesy of OAIMA

Also at the meeting, Zatezalo informed the group about a June 2019 U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruling regarding the workplace exams rule. The ruling reinstates the 2017 final rule that MSHA originally proposed.

At the meeting, Zatezalo confirmed MSHA would adhere to the court order and begin the rollout process of the rule.

According to OAIMA, Zatezalo and Goepfert both assured the group that MSHA would provide education and compliance materials, compliance assistance, and time to implement the new workplace exam requirements before enforcement begins – similar to when the agency put the 2018 rule into effect.

Additional clarity with respect to MSHA’s timeline is forthcoming, OAIMA adds, as MSHA intends to publish a notice in the Federal Register regarding the 2017 final rule rollout.

In ordering reinstatement of the 2017 rule, the court put into effect two additional requirements during the workplace exams process. All workplace exams must now be done before miners enter a working area, and all adverse conditions observed during a workplace exam must be recorded – even if corrected or abated prior to miners entering the working area.

Source: OAIMA

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is the editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry magazine. Yanik can be reached at 216-706-3724 or kyanik@northcoastmedia.net.

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