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MSHA Addresses Assessment Oversight, Accountability

MSHA announced a reorganization designed to centralize its oversight of certain cross-cutting, compliance-related actions.

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New Employees Shall Be Indoctrinated

By Randy Logsdon

Part 48 and Part 46 have been described by a number of adjectives – comprehensive, complex, confusing, rigid, soft, flexible and intrusive among others. The fact that there are two training standards enforced by the same agency can raise interesting application questions and interesting enforcement questions. But there is a third, more obscure training standard in the metal/non-metal mining regulations that seems to get little attention.

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Taking a Step Forward

By James Sharpe

MSHA found that pre-assessment conferencing of citations and orders (C/Os) could reduce the civil case backlog by 17 percent. Unfortunately, too little data was available from a pilot program to put much stock in that number. Nevertheless, a collateral benefit of more open communications could be a positive impact in its own right. Because conferencing is limited in Coal but universal in Metal/Non-Metal (M/NM), that sector stands to gain the most.

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ALJ Uphold Penalties for ‘Travelway’ Violations

By Ellen Smith

Penalties of $1,526 were affirmed against Oil-Dri Corp. by Federal Mine Safety and ALJ Priscilla M. Rae for two citations at its Simpson Clay Mine in Georgia, where the ALJ had to determine whether certain areas were “travelways.”

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Drill Baby Drill

By Randy Logsdon

It was about 10:30 in the morning on Jan. 12th and I was driving eastbound on U.S. Highway 62/180 between El Paso, Texas, and Carlsbad, N.M. The weather was mild and visibility was good. A section of that highway (about 100 miles) can be characterized as a remote rolling two-lane highway.

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