Category Archives: Safety

What to expect from OSHA in 2020

What to expect from OSHA in 2020

Proposed rulemakings and initiatives stand out on the agency’s agenda Source: EHS Today by David Sparkman Don’t expect OSHA to slow down as it enters the fifth decade of its existence, following a year of heightened activity in support of its workplace safety mission. An agency of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), OSHA spent […]

Baby, it’s cold outside: Will that make OSHA chill out in response to ongoing pressures for heat standards?

Baby, it’s cold outside: Will that make OSHA chill out in response to ongoing pressures for heat standards?

by Travis Vance and Pamela Williams Fisher Phillips  As parts of the United States are dealing with massive winter snowstorms, many are longing for the return of the warmth of summer. However, employers should be cautious in making such wishes as summer can bring blistering heat that creates hazards for workers working both outside and […]

U.S. Department of Labor determines no U.S. mining operations met Pattern of Violations Criteria for 5th consecutive year

ARLINGTON, VA – For the fifth consecutive year, none of the nation’s more than 13,000 mining operations met the criteria for a Pattern of Violations (POV), the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) announced today. The screening period started on September 1, 2018, and ended on August 31, 2019.  The POV provision in the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 is one of MSHA’s toughest enforcement tools. MSHA reserves the provision for mines that pose the greatest risk to miners’ health and safety, particularly those with chronic violation records.  “The Mine Safety and Health Administration remains committed to regular and consistent enforcement of the Mine Act – including issuing Pattern of Violations notices where appropriate – to fulfill its mission to keep the nation’s miners healthy and safe,” said MSHA Assistant Secretary David G. Zatezalo. “For the fifth straight year, no mine met POV criteria, evidence that mine operators have become more proactive in eliminating safety and health hazards.”  In January 2013, MSHA published its POV rule to strengthen safety measures in the nation’s most hazardous mines. Under the regulation, MSHA may consider mitigating circumstances before issuing a POV notice and encourages mine operators to implement a corrective action program if they are approaching POV status.  MSHA developed two online tools to help mine operators monitor compliance: the POV tool, which alerts mine operators that they are approaching POV status and should take appropriate corrective actions; and the S&S rate calculator, which enables mine operators to monitor their “significant and substantial” violations. Between 2011 and 2018, the rate of significant and substantial violations dropped from approximately 32 to 21%, an indicator of safety improvements in mines.  MSHA works to prevent death, illness, and injury from mining and promote safe and healthful workplaces for U.S miners. MSHA carries out the provision of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act) as amended by the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response (MINER) Act of 2006. The agency develops and enforces safety and health rules for all U.S. mines regardless of size, number of employees, commodity mined, or method of extraction. MSHA also provides technical, educational and other types of assistance to mine operators. MSHA works cooperatively with industry, labor, and other federal and state agencies to improve safety and health conditions for all miners in the United States.  The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

ARLINGTON, VA – For the fifth consecutive year, none of the nation’s more than 13,000 mining operations met the criteria for a Pattern of Violations (POV), the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) announced today. The screening period started on September 1, 2018, and ended on August 31, 2019. The POV […]

OSHA okays new respiratory fit testing protocols

OSHA okays new respiratory fit testing protocols

Source: EHS Today / David Sparkman On Sept. 25, OSHA issued a final rule approving two additional quantitative fit testing protocols for inclusion in its Respiratory Protection Standard. Effective on Sept. 26, the day after they were issued, these new protocols represent an addition to Appendix A of the Respiratory Protection Standard. They are: • […]

MSHA seeking more information on silica black lung

MSHA seeking more information on silica black lung

Source: EHS Today / David Sparkman MSHA issued a Request for Information (RFI) and scheduled a public meeting on the issue for Oct. 17 in Washington, D.C., seeking to gather “information and data on feasible best practices” to protect miners from quartz crystals in respirable dust generated during the process of mining coal, including potential […]