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NSSGA continues opposition to MSHA’s proposed workplace exams rule

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World Cement,

The NSSGA is continuing to take steps to oppose the MSHA’s proposed rule on workplace exams, which the agency seeks to tighten. At an MSHA public hearing on the workplace exams proposal, NSSGA vice president of safety, Joseph Carter, along with members, presented the concerns of the NSSGA and the associations Safety and Health subcommittee.

It is likely that the proposed rule will undercut operator ability to manage for safety and appears to be more than the industry requires. Operators have had the responsibility to improve safety in ways that make sense for their unique facilities, equipment and processes. “Given that aggregates operators have attained a record low injury rate, we think the workplace exams proposal is unwarranted,” he said. He also added that many operators have focused on improving the behaviours of staff and management at every level, instead of only evaluating conditions.

Anne Kelhart, of Martin Stone, told MSHA that conducting exams before beginning work, as dictated in the proposal, means doing those exams before sunrise. “The most competent person in the world could miss hazards before dawn,” she said. “[It’s] a direct and negative impact on our miners.”

The proposal would also increase administrative tasks without requisite safety benefits. Todd Ohlheiser, executive director of the Colorado Stone, Sand and Gravel Association said that some operators in his state would have a hard time complying with this proposal.

NSSGA is developing formal comments on the proposal to submit to MSHA before their Sept. 6 deadline, and has voiced concerns over those changes multiple times, including before the White House Office of Office of Management and Budget. NSSGA will also circulate the comments to members of the Safety and Health subcommittee to use when submitting additional comments from their own organisations.

Adapted from press release by

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