The average mine operator now spends over $20,000 per year on citations and penalties. In this must-attend conference – Alternative Case Resolution Initiative (ACRI) – learn how to reduce or eliminate fines with the added benefit of improved safety conditions. Within the context of increasing citations, this workshop will prepare you to handle Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) inspectors and their findings.

This two-and-a-half-day workshop includes breakfast and lunch and will cover:

  • Legal and procedural processes of field inspections
  • The anatomy of a citation and how and why to challenge it
  • Necessary skills for mine operators and representatives to challenge an MSHA citation


Continue Reading Understanding MSHA Litigation and Saving Costs

MSHA has announced a new enforcement initiative regarding overexposure to respirable crystalline silica.

The silica enforcement initiative is intended “to take immediate action to reduce the risks the silica exposure.” The initiative will include:

  • Spot inspections at coal and metal nonmetal mines with a history of repeated silica overexposures to closely monitor and evaluate health

MSHA finally has a new leader.  On March 29, 2022, the U.S. Senate confirmed by voice vote Christopher Williamson (Williamson) as Assistant Secretary for the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) at the Department of Labor. Williamson most recently has held the position of Senior Counsel to Chairman Lauren McFerran of the National Labor Relations

MSHA has announced a new campaign focusing on mine operators’ obligations to ensure that miners are fully trained and able to take time to follow best safety practices. To that end, MSHA is providing resources on powered haulage, rib and roof falls, fire suppression, and lockout/tagout.  Mines should expect increased enforcement around training about these

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