An Overview of MSHA Regulations
What is MSHA?The Mine and Safety Health Administration, commonly referred to as MSHA, is responsible for ensuring that American miners are working under safe conditions across the country. The agency performs its duty by enforcing regulations that aim to save lives and prevent injuries, while also leading the way to fewer incidents and significant cost reductions. The MSHA enforces regulations as per the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, which is the basis of many safety protocols and standards you’ll see in mining operations today.
MSHA Regulations OverviewMSHA’s main concern is the safety and wellbeing of miners across the United States. They implement various safety standards and regulations to ensure that businesses that operate within the mines are following the rules and maintaining a compliant working environment.
MSHA’s main concern is the safety and wellbeing of miners across the United States. They implement various safety standards and regulations to ensure that businesses that operate within the mines are following the rules and maintaining a compliant working environment. Click To TweetAccording the Department of Labor’s official website, “MSHA is responsible for enforcing the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act) as amended by the MINER Act of 2006. The Mine Act gives the Secretary of Labor authority to develop, promulgate, and revise health or safety standards for the protection of life and prevention of injuries in the nation’s mines.” In simple terms, this means that MSHA is responsible for enforcing various acts that prioritize the health and safety of American miners. The acts consist of various MSHA regulations that all miners must follow and abide by to avoid accidents, injuries, or penalties.
Reporting AccidentsMining accidents can be severe and costly for both the employees and employers. However, for those who are working for a mine that maintains MSHA regulations, there’s a good chance that incidents, regardless of its scale, can be prevented. At the very least, mines that are compliant with MSHA regulations are well-versed in mine safety best practices, and know how to handle situations if accidents do occur. Mine operators are required to report all accidents onsite within 15 minutes. This includes:
- The death of a worker or any individual in the mine.
- An individual entrapped for more than half an hour.
- Injuries to a person that may prove fatal.
- The mine filling up with liquid or gas.
- An unplanned fire that cannot be extinguished in 30 minutes.
- An unplanned explosion of gas or gas ignition.
- An unplanned roof collapse in operational areas of the mine where roof bolts have been used. This also includes roof collapse in active work areas that can block ventilation or block passages.
- Damage to hoisting equipment which can endanger personnel or which prevents equipment usage for more than 30 minutes.
- Disruption of mining activities for an hour due to coal or rock outbursts leading to withdrawal of miners.
- Unstable conditions which require emergency response to prevent evacuation.