With the departure of Alexander Acosta as Secretary of Labor, the Department immediately got an acting chief who is expected to more closely align with the White House. We work across industries regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), and other state and federal agencies to help our clients train, comply, and minimize risk even when the unexpected occurs. 4. Bush, Reagan, and Nixon administrations. This will only aggravate the compliance officer and prolong the inspection. In tunnel safety, Cal/OSHA goes beyond MSHA by requiring all tunnel construction jobs to have a state-certified safety representative and gas tester on-site. Any hazards that are pointed out during the inspection should be corrected immediately. He said that he worked with the MSHA leadership at the time to establish timetables and a monitoring system to be sure complaints would be handled quickly. There is no similar requirement in the OSHA standard. MSHA is the Mining Safety and Health Administration. MSHA requires that every injury and illness must be reported to MSHA. Secretary of Defense Esper’s confirmation took seven months. Cal/OSHA has regulatory authority over mining, milling, and finishing operations, whereas the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) covers only mining and milling. Inspections are conducted according to the following priority schedule. A regulation is promulgated under § 508 of the Mine Act (30 U.S.C. Response to Employee Complaints - OSHA responds to every complaint they receive. Inspect the work area for unsafe acts or conditions. If the inspection is the result of an employee complaint, the inspection should be limited to the scope of the complaint. Can you require your employees to get vaccinated when a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available? These differences in philosophy between MSHA, OSHA, and the DMV seem to mirror the differences between individual people. trench collapse); struck by hazards. That sort of admission can be difficult, and in this sense the high ‘intensity’ of MSHA inspections can be among the challenges that confront that agency.”. National Environmental Trainers In some industries, the line between MSHA and OSHA jurisdiction can be complicated and blurry. The mine person responsible for Health and Safety (there needs to be one) must verify all training times and topics and keep all records as required by MSHA. He suggested that making sure processes like that are functioning and respected is a priority. A Beginner’s Guide to MSHA and OSHA Whether you’re looking to start a new career, or simply move up the ladder, the Texas mining industry offers plenty of opportunities. As Pizzella takes the helm and Scalia prepares to follow him, a number of regulatory developments could be on the way though many seem to be moving slowly until now. A focused inspection is usually much quicker than a comprehensive inspection. If you were at home, and were challenged with disassembling the top half of your car engine to save $1000 in labor costs, you would likely do it one of a few different ways. Scalia, son of the Supreme Court’s late Justice Antonin Scalia, has most recently been a litigator representing corporate clients before federal administrative agencies, including on employment and labor law matters. The current Republican-controlled HELP committee seems most likely to approve sending his nomination to the Senate floor – very possibly by a vote along party lines. Administered by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), the Act affects miners and mine operators who work on mine property within the United States. . Beryllium construction and shipyard sectors: Michigan establishes state requirements for employers to protect against COVID-19, With almost $3 million in penalties issued, OSHA advises on frequently-cited COVID standards, Change of plans: CDC significantly expands definition of “close contact”, California to expand Cal/OSHA authority on COVID-19 starting January 2021, Technology, Manufacturing & Transportation Industry Insider. Generally they are escorted by a representative of the mine owner and our work sites are only a small part of the overall inspection. Serious allegations may result in on site inspections. As a simple example, OSHA requires employers to keep a log on site of all injuries and illnesses. Read More, Updated: Top employer COVID vaccine questions and answers, Change of plans: CDC significantly expands definition of "close contact", Benefits of annual mine rescue contests and training in face of COVID-19, MSHA Blurring the Lines: Getting a clearer picture of how it really looks and works. The program allows limited scope inspections for employers with strong safety and health programs. In addition to his private practice experience, he served as the Solicitor of Labor, the chief legal advisor at the Department of Labor, under President George W. Bush from 2001-2003, and as a special assistant to then-Attorney General, William Barr, from 1992-93. If it did find the hazard, what did it do to address it and was that enough? Subcontractor representatives also have the right to attend the walk around inspection. If you refuse you get an automatic $50,000 fine and the inspector will come back with Federal Marshals; A minimum of two inspections every year; MSHA Inspectors can close a mine without a court order All employees should be aware of the inspection procedures of these agencies. Read best practices for transitioning employees back to the workplace, Our industry teams collaborate across practice areas to deliver in-depth solutions to the most complex business challenges. A representative of each contractor should attend the opening conference. If one is not offered, ask for a business card. c o m 3 MSHA 101 for Contractors • Key differences between MSHA and OSHA • Overview of the Mine Act • Inspections – Advanced Notice Prohibitions • MSHA’s Enforcement Tools • Accident Investigations • Special Investigations • Obtaining a Contractor’s ID 1. He said the goal should be to use OSHA’s limited resources to ferret out the most egregious offenders, to meet enforcement priorities, to increase prosecutorial success rates, and to protect workers by preventing injuries that result from violations of OSHA law. Hello, The Occupational Safety and Health Act was signed by Nixon on December 29, 1970. The Act defines a miner as, "any individual working in coal or other mine" and a mine operator as "any owner, lessee, or other person who operates controls, or supervises a coal or other mine or any independent contractor performing service or construction at such mine". Questions should be answered truthfully but do not offer any unnecessary information. In 2012, OSHA spokesperson Kimberly Darby told the magazine Safety & Health that her organization and NIOSH were working together “more closely than ever.” So there is a very clear difference between OSHA and NIOSH; but the agencies work together to help employers create the safest workplaces possible. random inspection schemes,” like OSHA’s site-specific targeting. The table permits a quick comparison of the hearing conservation requirements of US general industry (OSHA, 1983), mining (MSHA, 1999), and the most recent recommendations of NIOSH (1998). . 4. MSHA schedules inspections of mine properties in a similar manner but conducts far more inspections. We bring together the best legal minds and reach beyond law to include experienced industry professionals. While MSHA is responsible solely for the mining industry, OSHA has jurisdiction over most private sector employers and employees as well as some public sector employees. The problem most people have is trying to make sense of all the various safety and training certifications needed to … For MSHA to identify a violation in a post-accident investigation, is for the agency to raise the possibility that it erred. OSHA has much broader authority than MSHA. OSHA citations and MSHA assessments are sent in the mail in the days or weeks following an inspection. In FY 1994 alone, OSHA inspections helped make more than 40,000 workplaces safer for nearly two million working Americans. The program focuses on the four main hazards in construction: fall hazards; electrical hazards; caught in/between hazards (ex. One area in which the MSHA standard is more protective than the OSHA standard is specifying a noise exposure level above which both earplugs and earmuffs (dual protection) are required. OSHA can initiate a job site inspection for various reasons. MSHA inspections are slightly different than OSHA. Wake Forest, NC 27587, © Copyright 1996 - 2020 National Environmental Trainers, Inc., All Rights Reserved. The training plan does not need to be submitted to MSHA for prior approval, but must be available to all miners and MSHA at any time. Also ask if the inspection will be a focused inspection or comprehensive. 1. At the closing conference the inspector will notify each contractor of their rights and responsibilities after an OSHA inspection and any citations he/she is going to propose. OSHA inspection rates are much much lower. Is the inspection random, a referral, a complaint, etc. Part 46 applies to the following types of mines: sand, gravel, surface stone, surface clay, surface limestone, colloidal phosphate, or shell dredging operations. All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner(s). Scalia seems to have embraced the administration’s de-regulatory agenda, particularly calling its policy of eliminating two rules to offset the cost of each new rule as a “very significant executive order and the most important government rulemaking since Ronald Reagan’s cost-benefit executive order in the 1980’s.”, Since labor and employment law have been Scalia’s areas of expertise as a lawyer, he would bring to the post extensive regulatory and labor law experience, deep understanding of administrative law and the rulemaking process, and his stated respect for the rule of law. Third, it is possible to discuss and limit the scope and area of OSHA inspection. Explaining a dynamic familiar to many in the industry, he understood the pressure on MSHA to investigate intensely: “When a dangerous condition at a mine causes serious injury or death, MSHA will have been there recently. This blog contains general information about the inspection process from different regulatory agencies governing worker safety. All training courses are subject to privacy policy and terms of use. Follow-up Inspections - OSHA has the right to conduct follow up inspections to verify abatement of previously cited hazards. Meanwhile, the nominee to replace him, Eugene Scalia, is well known for his DOL and workplace safety-related law practice. Work performed in an OSHA approved Plan State is governed by the that particular state regulatory agency. He also understands the important roles that both OSHA and private companies play in securing safe workplaces. Work performed on mine properties is governed by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). What are Parts 46 and 48? 6. There is a fine legal distinction between a standard and a regulation.A standard is promulgated under § 101 of the Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act) (30 U.S.C. The compliance officer may delay the inspection for a short period until safety representatives arrive. The person accompanying the inspector should take detailed notes of the walk around inspection. A member of Husch Blackwell’s Technology, Manufacturing & Transportation team, Avi focuses his practice on workplace safety and health matters, litigation and appellate law. MSHA has no such restrictions. Long term projects at mine sites are almost guaranteed to be inspected by an MSHA compliance officer. At that point, the Safety Department can appeal the citations and have them reduced or in some cases withdrawn. For example, he noted that OSHA can, but rarely does, defer to a labor-management grievance and arbitration process to determine the result of a whistleblower matter. Imminent Danger - Responding to situations of imminent danger is OSHA's highest priority. References to OSHA in this section apply to both agencies. Where does your facility fall on the OSHA-MSHA divide? Acting Labor Secretary Patrick Pizzella will manage the helm of DOL until Eugene Scalia is confirmed by the Senate. 811) and includes MSHA health, safety, and training standards. OSHA Form 300A is the second page of the OSHA Form 300. OSHA's standards have made a real difference -- often the difference between life and death -- for millions of working people. requirements, it will satisfy MSHA’s requirements except for the coverage of EPA-regulated hazardous waste (OSHA has a separate standard for hazardous waste operations). The act created both the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Many believe that he is fairly well aligned with the White House, including with Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and White House Labor Advisor James Sherk. His confirmation hearing even included an admiring note he had received from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. During the inspection, the compliance officer may do any of the following: 1. There, he proposed the adoption of an “integrated labor and employment policy” approach that would enable regulators to defer to unions more so the unions could play a more productive role in promoting workplace safety, among other areas. The inspector should state the scope of the inspection and why they are there. Manufacturers’ recommended procedures for performing a user seal check can be included in the donning procedures and/or user instructions as alternatives to the OSHA-specified procedures under the respiratory protection standard (See 29 CFR 1910.134 Appendix B-1 external icon). The major differences between MSHA and OSHA are: MSHA has an Open Search Warrant for every mine in the U.S. You must let them inspect anything they request. Work performed in an OSHA approved Plan State is governed by the that particular state regulatory agency. If possible, take pictures of anything the compliance officer takes pictures of. To qualify for a focused inspection an employer must do two things. An inspection can be broken down into three main sections: an opening conference, the walk around portion, and a closing conference. The compliance officer may ask questions about the project and what activities are taking place. Extension Chords – Cannot be longer than 100 ft, must be a single chord, and protected from driving over MSHA has specific safety training guidelines for different kinds of mines, different conditions, and various potential hazards. As a result, while Pizzella could wait until Scalia is confirmed to make any major regulatory changes with the new Secretary’s input, he may also be positioned to move forward administration priorities in the interim. He/she may also ask to see some paperwork such as SDSs or the 300 Log. The inspection procedures of OSHA and MOSH are essentially the same. A blog focused on OSHA and MSHA compliance in the workplace. It could be some time. If they do not, ask the reason for the inspection. As the nominee for Solicitor of Labor in 2001, Scalia reportedly enjoyed bipartisan support from former DOL solicitors in the Clinton, George H.W. (MSHA) Versus OSHA: Scope and Level of Enforcement MSHA 13K mines to inspect ~312K miners plus several thousand contractors… Underground mine sites are inspected no less than 4X per years Surface mine sites are inspected no less than 2X per year Note: Refer to handout for more information on OSHA … Have evidence of a safety and health program that complies with all of OSHA's General Safety and Health Requirements, and 2. w w w . The Department of Labor, which houses both agencies, long ago tried to clarify the split between operations that fall under one regime or the other. What is the difference between MSHA Requirements Part 46 and Part 48? 5. In a 2005 article in the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Labor and Employment Law, he discussed the challenge that MSHA faces with managing enforcement resources when some might expect it to be ever-present since it must inspect every property two or four times each year. Inspect equipment such as extension cords, backup alarms, scaffolds, etc. Be aware however, a compliance officer can cite a company for any serious violations they witness at any time during any type of inspection. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, also known as OSHA, is the division of the US Department of Labor responsible for overseeing workplace safety. Click for more details Let’s examine the differences between the two, and when standard applies. The MSHA regulation was published September 13, 1999 with an effective date of September 13, 2000. Having a close White House ally leading DOL may be a change. Scalia has urged OSHA to focus its limited enforcement resources and aggressively prosecute “those who disdain the rule of law and the legal process itself.” He also advocated targeting inspections performed by OSHA on work sites with injuries that result from violations covered by OSHA regulations and that are considered serious, willful or repeat violations. What do these new leaders mean for OSHA and MSHA? He added, “When those who make good faith safety and health complaints are subject to retaliation, it erodes an important source of government information on potential violations of the law. If the compliance officer asks to see any paperwork that is not available on site the Safety Department can fax or e-mail it to their office. MSHA specifies that an exposure above 105 dBA TWA requires dual protection. OSHA's Focused Inspection Program was created to focus on the major hazards in the construction industry. If it sounds similar to OSHA, that's because it is: both organizations share the goal of keeping you and your workers safe on the job. Until Scalia arrives, DOL’s leader will be Pizzella, in the past a conservative lobbyist, who has long been involved in labor and workplace-related issues. In tunnel safety, Cal/OSHA goes beyond MSHA by requiring all tunnel construction jobs to have a state-certified safety representative and gas tester on-site. Work performed in a U.S. OSHA regulated state is governed by the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). 1. In an MSHA closing conference, citations will be issued on the spot. The first page which is Form 300 contains a log for work-related injuries and illnesses designed by OSHA. Of course, in his role as Solicitor of Labor, Scalia had exposure to MSHA enforcement, as well. OSHA logo and review of website do not imply endorsement or approval. 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