In the last few months, mine operators around the country have seen individual MSHA inspectors and districts suddenly enforce new interpretations for a number of regulations. The latest rule evolving right before our eyes in one district could have widespread effect: grounding and continuity testing. Is MSHA’s new approach justified? Continue Reading Discontinuity: A new change in MSHA enforcement with far-reaching impact

A few weeks back, MSHA announced a new “training and enforcement” initiative on “working alone,” which MSHA claimed was necessary because of five fatalities in 2017. But, I had to ask: do these incidents really have anything to do with each other or with working alone? Continue Reading Digging deep into MSHA’s working alone initiative – on solid ground?

Perhaps signaling that OSHA may be turning more toward cooperative and compliance assistance programs under the Trump administration, as many in industry have hoped, OSHA announced this week that it will hold a public meeting to receive suggestions from stakeholders on how to strengthen its Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP). Continue Reading Signs of turning to cooperation and compliance assistance? OSHA seeks input on VPP.

by Erik Dullea and Sonia Anderson

Department of Labor press releases issued during April suggest that DOL, including OSHA and MSHA, may have returned to the aggressive public relations strategy of calling out companies by name, which was utilized during the previous administration.  Former head of OSHA, Dr. David Michaels, reportedly called this strategy “regulation by shaming.” Continue Reading Is the Department of Labor reverting to Obama-era media strategies?

Just a few months after OSHA civil penalties increased by 78%, OSHA published another increase to its civil penalties on January 18, 2017. The latest bump in penalties, which a recent federal law required OSHA to issue, was far more modest, amounting to an adjustment for inflation of about 1% based on the Consumer Price Index. Continue Reading OSHA civil penalties increase again for 2017