CHARLESTON - On Aug. 6, MSHA's final rule on Examinations of Work Areas in Underground Coal Mines for Violations of Mandatory Health or Safety Standards takes effect.
Implementation of the final rule marks the end of an 18-year crusade by MSHA to revise pre-shift, on-shift, weekly, and supplemental examination of nine regulations to include a requirement that operators examine, identify, and correct violations of mandatory health and safety standards.
Historically, federal regulations have required underground coal mine operators to employ certified mine examiners to conduct examinations for hazardous conditions, and to test for methane and oxygen deficiency and determine if air is moving in the proper direction and at normal volumes.
What will this mean to coal operators, nationwide?
On June 22, Dinsmore will host a webinar entitled "Blurring the lines: Will Coal Mine Operators Become Mine Inspectors?"
The hourlong webinar is set for 11 a.m.
The new rule blurs the lines between coal mine operations and regulatory enforcement, effectively transforming certified mine examiners into mine inspectors — eliminating the time-tested standard for determining hazardous mine conditions.
Mine operators already are required to conduct frequent general inspections, but the rule change specifies nine specific standards they must check, such as: ventilation, methane, roof control, combustible materials, rock dusting, guarding and other safeguards.
Mine operators must review federal mine inspectors' citations with certified mine examiners every three months to ensure the company's own certified mine examiners focus on problems that federal mine inspectors have identified.
Dinsmore attorney Bob Beatty will discuss how the final ruling will affect coal operators and how they run their businesses in the future.
There is NO COST to attend this webinar. To register, visit http://www.dinsmore.com/msha_webinar.