MSHA Announces 2017 Workplace Exam Rule Reinstatement

In an unexpected development, on Sept. 27, 2019, MSHA notified stakeholders that the 2017 Workplace Exam rule will be reinstated on Sept. 30, 2019.

While the rule will be effective immediately, MSHA will use the first 90 days following the effective date to fully implement the rule. The agency will also hold informational stakeholder meetings and provide in-person compliance and technical assistance to ensure that operators and workers understand the rule’s requirements.

This reinstatement follows the D.C. Circuit Court’s Aug. 23, 2019, mandate to reinstate the 2017 rule, which came after that Court denied MSHA’s petition for a rehearing of the case.

The timing of this notice appears to be a reversal of the understanding of NSSGA and other stakeholders of MSHA’s intentions. NSSGA requested that MSHA put a stay on the rule pending litigation in the 11th Circuit Court challenging the 2017 WPE rule, but barring a delay, asked that outreach and training be included in implementation plans. 

NSSGA is seeking more clarity on this development from MSHA and will provide updates. Please contact Libby Pritchard, director of construction materials safety policy, at with any questions or concerns.

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