WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is announcing immediate action to address a longstanding issue by implementing an action plan for employees who do not meet the Agency’s medical standards. Some employees have not met medical standards for several years.
MSHA inspectors and technical personnel are required to have periodic medical examinations and meet U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) -approved medical standards as a condition of employment. Medical examinations, including tests for vision and hearing, are required. MSHA reviewed examination results and determined that approximately 15 to 20 percent of MSHA inspectors and technical personnel do not currently meet the Agency’s medical standards and that the problem had been growing over the past several years.
The Department of Labor is taking immediate action to develop an effective, consistent, and equitable plan to resolve the issue. In response, MSHA will implement an individualized assessment process for employees who do not meet medical standards. The process will incorporate requirements for reasonable accommodation, resolve issues efficiently and effectively, and be conducted in a consistent and fair manner.
MSHA will be transparent throughout this process, while being mindful of employees’ privacy concerns. MSHA will work with stakeholders, including the employees’ union, and keep them informed.