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MSHA makes changes to Workplace Examinations Rule

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World Cement,

MSHA has announced significant changes to its Workplace Examinations Rule, including a proposed extension of the effective date from 2 October 2017, to 2 March 2018. It has also proposed that exams be allowed to occur ‘before work begins, or as miners begins work in that place.’ MSHA has said that the effective date extension is needed to product materials to assist with compliance and reach out to stakeholders.

“NSSGA and aggregates operations have consistently raised concerns with the previous Workplace Examination Rule, and it appears that MSHA is willing to listen to the industry,” said Laura O’Neill-Kaumo, NSSGA senior vice president of government and regulatory affairs.

The previous Workplace Examinations Rule proposal mandated that workplace exams be conducted before the start of work, and small operators have estimated it could cost US$25 million annually to comply. Additionally, the agency reduced the number of items required for inclusion in the rule’s documentation section. While the earlier rule called for documentation of all hazards and their abatements, the revised rule calls for documentation only of hazards not abated promptly – with “promptly” being defined as “before miners are potentially exposed to adverse conditions.”

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