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

Many companies and organizations will be updating their COVID-19 plans as a result of new CDC guidance this week. Based on a new case study, the CDC has significantly expanded when someone is in “close contact” with the virus. This definition is at the heart of almost every workplace, school, and healthcare COVID-19 policy. The broader definition will likely significantly expand social distancing, contact tracing and the number of people required to isolate after a case is discovered.

Continue Reading Change of plans: CDC significantly expands definition of “close contact”

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

by Sydney Buckley

With scientists worldwide racing to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, many employers are asking if they can require employees to be vaccinated.  As with everything COVID-19, there are many open questions, but here are some of the major legal issues in considering mandatory vaccination policies.


Continue Reading Can you require your employees to get vaccinated when a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available?

Our popular ACRI course for mine supervisors, executives, and managers to learn how to minimize MSHA liability is going virtual! Next month, Husch Blackwell is partnering once again with Predictive Compliance and Catamount Consulting to offer a two-day, intensive, live online course titled Alternative Case Resolution Initiative: Defending and Winning MSHA Litigation.

Continue Reading Register now for virtual 2-day ACRI course on Defending and Winning MSHA Litigation!

Though the mining industry uses about 90% of explosives in the United States, neither ATF’s regulations nor its personnel generally come from mining. Nonetheless, ATF and the mining industry generally have worked together well as partners. Issues do sometimes arise, however, such as recent ATF actions on underground explosives storage magazines.

Continue Reading Navigating with ATF on underground explosives storage magazines

The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit is currently considering a request by mine worker unions to require MSHA to create an emergency COVID-19 regulation. The parties have all finished submitting their briefs and now await a ruling. Husch Blackwell’s mine safety and health team represented national industry associations in filing an amicus (“friend-of-the-court”) brief to describe industry protections against the virus.

Continue Reading As unions seek COVID-19 regulation, mining industry brief explains extensive efforts to protect workers

While many employers consider whether and how to use COVID-19 tests of different kinds to help clear employees to return to work, the EEOC has clarified that not all tests are created equal in its eyes. Our partner, Barbara Grandjean, reports on the latest EEOC guidance.

Continue Reading EEOC: Employers can require viral COVID-19 tests, but not antibody tests, for return-to-work