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

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