MSHA published a final 2018 Workplace Examinations Rule today, April 9, 2018. NSSGA’s preliminary analysis is that the final rule, which goes into effect on June 2, codifies the relatively positive changes proposed in September 2017.
The rule broadens the time in which a competent person could conduct workplace exams from just before the shift to “as work begins.” It also reduces the percentage of hazards found during exams that warrant documentation to just those hazards that cannot be “promptly” abated. MSHA defined “promptly” as “before miners are potentially exposed to adverse conditions.”
While NSSGA was somewhat pleased with these changes proposed last September, the association remains concerned that the rule over-reaches by dictating any specific times for conducting workplace exams or documentation requirements. Moreover, NSSGA remains unconvinced that the agency ever credibly demonstrated a need for changes to the decades-old workplace exams rule. NSSGA will further analyze this rule and will also consider whether to continue its litigation against the rule, undertaken with other associations, in the Eleventh Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals.
MSHA announced a series of stakeholder meetings to provide compliance information on the rule, and will soon announce plans to provide online compliance assistance.
- Tuesday, May 1, in Bloomington, Ill.
- Tuesday, May 15, in Birmingham, Ala.
- Thursday, May 17, in Pittsburgh, Pa.
- Tuesday, May 22, in Reno, Nev.
- Thursday, May 24, in Dallas, Texas
- Thursday, May 31, in Denver, Colo.
Additional details about the rule and these stakeholder meetings are listed on the Federal Register at https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-04-09/pdf/2018-07084.pdf.
NSSGA member companies can direct questions to Joseph Casper, vice president of safety services, at 703-526-1074 or firstname.lastname@example.org.