President Biden has nominated Christopher Williamson for the position of Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health.  The White House statement on the nominee states Mr. Williamson is a “native of the coalfields of southern West Virginia,” though he has no known mining experience.

Mr. Williamson graduated from law school approximately 11 years ago and

On September 9, 2021, MSHA expects to publish a Proposed Rule requiring mine operators to develop and implement written safety programs for their powered haulage equipment used at surface mines and surface areas of underground mines (“surface mobile equipment”).

What mines and equipment does the Proposed Rule cover? 
Continue Reading MSHA Proposes a Requirement for Written Safety Programs for Surface Mobile Equipment

Partner Brian Hendrix has published an article for Rock Products explaining MSHA’s focus on Power Haulage Safety. Brian examines the best practices provided by MSHA and offers advice to quarry operators looking to develop and implement a mine-specific plan for powered haulage safety.

For more information, read the article here.

One year into the pandemic, MSHA has released new guidance to help miners and operators identify the risks of being exposed to COVID-19 at work and to help them determine appropriate control measures to reduce the risk of contracting the virus.   During a stakeholder call on March 3, 2021, Jeannette Galanis, MSHA’s new Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, acknowledged that many mine operators already have rules addressing COVID-19 mitigation.   It was made clear on the call that this guidance was advisory in nature.  However, agency representatives said they were still considering the need for an Emergency Temporary Standard addressing COVID-19 mitigation.
Continue Reading MSHA Announces New Guidelines on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19

As COVID-19 vaccination rolls out in the United States, employers should begin preparing to support vaccination and consider how workplaces will be impacted. There are still many unknowns, and plans will have to remain flexible. To help companies think through these issues, we’ve put together a vaccine planning checklist.

Continue Reading What can you do to support vaccination? Download our vaccine planning checklist for employers.

As vaccines roll out, employers have been asking how to prepare and whether they can mandate vaccination for their employees. This week the EEOC released fresh guidance, confirming that mandates are legal if implemented properly.

Continue Reading EEOC issues COVID-19 vaccine guidance, allowing employer mandates

The FDA could approve two COVID-19 vaccines within a matter of days. However, drug makers have tried to keep expectations in check about how much vaccine they can deliver immediately and over the next few months as they grapple with supply chain and manufacturing challenges.

Continue Reading Employer vaccine update: As FDA reviews vaccines, drug makers report limited supplies

Announcements by both Pfizer and Moderna that their trial COVID-19 vaccines appear to be over 90% effective have led to a surge of interest by everyone, employers included, about exactly when and how a vaccine will save us from pandemic life. Here are some updated key questions and answers for employers about what to expect next.

Continue Reading Updated: Top employer COVID vaccine questions and answers