Mine Safety and Health Administration proposes new rule to keep miners safe

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Large quarry dump truck. Loading the rock in the dumper. Loading coal into body work truck. Mining truck mining machinery, to transport coal from open-pit as the Coal. Production useful minerals. (Photo Courtesy: Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WOWK) – A new rule has been proposed that if approved would require mine operators that employ six or more miners to develop a written safety program for mobile and powered hauling equipment at both surface mines and the surface areas of underground mines.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration announced the proposed rule today, Sept. 8, 2021. The Department says the proposed rule will officially be published tomorrow, Sept. 9, 2021, here on its website. The administration says the proposed rule is one of several proposed actions to improve safety and health and to reduce the number of fatal and nonfatal injuries involving surface mobile equipment at mines.

According to the MSHA, the rule would exclude belt conveyors.

The required written safety program would include actions to identify hazards and risks to reduce potential surface mobile equipment-related injuries, accidents and fatalities.

The MSHA says the mine operators would be given the flexibility under the rule to create a safety program that is specific to their mining conditions and operations. The administration also says it “would encourage its state grantees to provide training to address hazards and risks involving surface mobile equipment in small mining operations.”

According to the MSHA, comments on the rule must be submitted Nov. 8, 2021. 

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