314_1149_250020_f6bf70e7-2fbb-484f-a564-3fb736e6bf9f_37273_1_1

NSSGA REQUESTS MSHA TO EXTEND COMMENT PERIOD UNDER CIVIL PENALTIES PROPOSAL

NSSGA has requested that the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration extend the comment period on the MSHA civil penalties proposed rule by 60 days, to Nov. 28, due to the complexity of and impact feared by the proposal. Unless the extension is granted, comments are due Sept. 29. Also, NSSGA asked that public hearings be held so that the agency can obtain the broadest possible comment from stakeholders.

The proposal – which has been at least three years in the making – includes: reducing the ranges of choices inspectors have for evaluating workplace conditions on such matters as likelihood of an injury, and gravity of operator negligence. Additionally, the administration seeks comment on the possible merits of: 1) lessening the authority of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission to reduce MSHA proposed penalty amounts; and 2) the agency inducing operator waving of contest rights, in exchange for increased good faith benefit of up to 30 percent of the amount of money tied to the proposed penalty.

Despite NSSGA’s delay request, its Safety and Health Committee is proceeding as if the Sept. 29 comment deadline will not change. Direct questions to Joseph Casper at (703) 526-1074 / jcasper@nssga.org.