MSHA increases focus on safety standards linked to mining deaths

By |  May 12, 2016

msha-logoThe U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) is enhancing enforcement of its “Rules to Live By” initiative of standards commonly cited following mining deaths, as well as nine underground coal mine exam rule standards for hazards that pose the greatest risk to miners in underground coal mines.

MSHA also announced that it is adding two new standards as part of “Rules to Live By IV,” which focuses on safe lighting of surface work areas at coal mines and protection from falling materials at metal and nonmetal mines.

According to MSHA, it will begin more extensively employing its web-based “Rules to Live By” and exam rule calculators on July 1 in order to determine the number of “Rules to Live By” and exam rule citations and orders issued during specific inspection periods. Inspectors will then provide mine operators with a copy of the results, which will be added to criteria for consideration of impact inspections.

“MSHA analyzed the cause of death of hundreds of U.S. mining fatalities in a 10-year period to identify the conditions and practices that contributed to the fatalities, safety standards violated, root causes and abatement practices,” says Joe Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. “With this information, we can better target the causes and take action to prevent needless mining deaths.”

MSHA launched its “Rules to Live By” initiative in 2010 in order to focus on preventing the most commonly cited safety standard violations that have caused or contributed to fatal mining accidents. In addition, an MSHA analysis determined that fatalities associated with “Rules to Live By” standards have decreased by an average of 23 percent.

Allison Barwacz

About the Author:

Allison Barwacz is the digital media manager for North Coast Media (NCM). She completed her undergraduate degree at Ohio University where she received a Bachelor of Science in magazine journalism from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She works across a number of digital platforms, which include creating e-newsletters, writing articles and posting across social media sites. She also creates content for NCM's Portable Plants magazine, GPS World magazine and Geospatial Solutions. Her understanding of the ever-changing digital media world allows her to quickly grasp what a target audience desires and create content that is appealing and relevant for any client across any platform.

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