The mining newspaper for Alaska and Canada's North

MSHA to stiffen enforcement of 'Rules to Live By' standards

The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration June 27 unveiled plans to begin enhanced enforcement of 'Rules to Live By,' an initiative focused on preventing mine fatalities.

Joseph Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health, said "mine operators need to conduct better site inspections and take appropriate action to improve compliance with" MSHA's Rules to Live By and other safety standards.

An agency analysis of hundreds of U.S. mining fatalities in a 10-year period shows that fatalities associated with Rules to Live By standards have decreased an average of 23 percent, and significant and substantial citations and orders issued for violations of these standards have declined an average of 37 percent.

Beginning July 1, MSHA will employ its web-based Rules to Live By calculators more extensively to determine the number of citations and orders issued during the most recent completed inspection periods for which data are available.

Inspectors will provide mine operators with a copy of the results, encouraging them to use the tools to monitor their own compliance and take action to eliminate violations.

The results will be added to criteria for consideration of impact inspections, particularly targeting mines with elevated noncompliance of these standards.


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