Skip to page content
Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez

US Department of Labor: Spring Regulatory Agenda 2010

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)

Topic: MSHA’S Request for Information on Safety and Health Management Programs for Mines

Introduction

  • The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) will develop a request for information (RFI) to solicit information from the mining community on suggestions for addressing injury and illness prevention through the implementation of comprehensive safety and health management programs.
  • To complement this RFI, MSHA will develop a proposed rule to require mine operators to conduct preshift examinations in areas where miners work or travel for violations of mandatory health or safety standards. While this requirement was previously included in regulations, the 1992 final rule addressing ventilation in underground coal mines omitted from the regulation the text taken from the Mine Act requiring examination for violations of mandatory safety or health standards. The re-institution of this practice should result in reduced risk of injury, death, and illness and should lead to fewer citations for safety and health violations during MSHA compliance inspections of underground mines.

Key Features of the RFI

  • The RFI will seek information in the following areas of:
    • Management commitment and employee involvement;
    • Worksite analysis;
    • Hazard prevention and controls;
    • Safety and health training;
    • Preshift examination for violations of any mandatory safety or health standards and correction of those that are identified; and
    • Program evaluation.
  • The RFI will request information on the mining industry’s experience with Safety and Health Management Programs, including—
    • Those currently implemented in mines;
    • Those developed by independent consensus standards setting organizations, such as American National Standards Institute, American Industrial Hygiene Association, and International Organization for Standardization; and
    • Those following the OSHA Guidelines for Safety and Health Management Programs.

Benefits

  • Assures that all mine operators have effective safety and health management programs and that they find and fix all hazardous conditions.