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Regulations to watch amid the presidential transition

By |  November 28, 2016

msha-logoWorkplace exams. The crystalline silica rule. Diesel exhaust monitoring.

These are among the regulatory areas the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) is monitoring as the executive branch of the federal government soon shifts from the Obama administration to the Trump administration.

According to NSSGA, the Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) sent a final rule on workplace exams to the Office of Management & Budget (OMB) this month. NSSGA expects to restate the industry’s concerns, which include MSHA’s lack of tangible evidence of any need for changing the current workplace exams standard. OMB will ultimately approve or deny the rule, NSSGA says.

Additionally, MSHA plans to issue a new rule regarding crystalline silica, NSSGA reports. The agency expressed an interest in issuing a rule similar to an Occupational Safety & Health Administration rule reducing the workplace exposure limit by half. The rule is projected to be issued during President-elect Donald Trump’s administration, the association adds, although Trump has stressed his commitment to reigning in regulatory overreach.

MSHA has also expressed an interest in a possible new permissible exposure limit for diesel exhaust in underground facilities, NSSGA says. The National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health partnered with MSHA to study the matter, discuss the health of underground miners and determine whether a rulemaking in this area is warranted.

Proximity detection for mobile machines in underground operations is an area to watch, as well. According to NSSGA, MSHA may seek comments on a possible rule on proximity detection systems.

To best position the aggregate industry, NSSGA says it is working to inform the Trump transition team about candidates for administration positions who understand the aggregate industry and the nation’s reliance on stone, sand and gravel.

“This work started well before today as we worked with the Clinton and Trump campaigns to educate them on our industry,” says Joseph Casper, NSSGA vice president of safety. “We continue to advocate for active members who can best advance presidential policies with a deep understanding of aggregates operations to assume vital executive branch positions.”

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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