Coal mine operators could face a dilemma with the annual proficiency and training requirements of the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act (Miner Act) and the regulations Subpart Mine Rescue Teams for Underground Coal Mines conflicting with COVID-19 risk mitigation efforts. 


Continue Reading Benefits of annual mine rescue contests and training in face of COVID-19

COVID-19 has not derailed the “One MSHA Initiative,” MSHA’s effort to blur the “distinction between coal and metal/non-metal enforcement for more efficient use of resources.” That’s not a surprise, given the commitment of MSHA’s leadership to the Initiative and the fact that it started back in 2018.

Continue Reading MSHA Blurring the Lines: Getting a clearer picture of how it really looks and works

Today, Virginia’s new and detailed COVID-19 regulation takes effect. The rule, an “emergency temporary standard” (ETS), was adopted July 15th by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI). Unlike general guidance and recommendations issued by CDC and federal OSHA, the Virginia rule requires all employers regulated by DOLI to develop, implement, and enforce COVID-19 prevention and mitigation measures. Read on for a detailed summary of the rule’s requirements.

Continue Reading Detailed Virginia COVID regulation takes effect today for Virginia employers

All bets are off as regulatory agencies are tugged in every direction in pandemic world. Normally, an election year probably would not have seen particularly aggressive enforcement or rulemaking. For a while, COVID-19 health precautions and furloughed work sites meant reduced inspection activity. But, enforcement may be picking up, and a battle over new regulations is brewing. Here’s your full update.

Continue Reading OSHA and MSHA update: More enforcement? New regs? Deregulation? It’s all on the table.

Now for a story that has nothing to do with viruses… In last month’s Rock Products magazine, our colleague Charles Fleischmann analyzed MSHA’s revisions to its inspection procedures. To find out what’s new and different in MSHA inspection policies, read on.

Continue Reading What’s inside MSHA’s (relatively) new unified inspection handbook?

According to MSHA Assistant Secretary David Zatezalo, MSHA is working to “put the ‘H’ back in ‘MSHA.’” He told Congress over the summer that he is “paying close attention to the ‘H’ in MSHA: miners’ health.” He emphasized that MSHA will “aggressively enforce existing standards to ensure that operators protect miners from exposure to respirable dust and quartz.”


Continue Reading Putting the ‘H’ back In MSHA?

An internal DOL memorandum last year to OSHA regional administrators confirms that OSHA can deploy Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) otherwise referred to as “drones” equipped with cameras to assist with its enforcement and regulatory functions. What do employers need to know? How should you respond to a drone inspection?

Continue Reading Look! Up in the sky … it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s OSHA?