For years, MSHA regulations to implement the 1969 law contained that same language.
But in 1992, MSHA removed the requirement that pre-shift examinations include warning signs for any violation of safety and health standards.
MSHA said at the time that the agency "recognizes that 'technical' violations of mandatory standards may not immediately endanger miners, but where such violations constitute hazards, danger signs must be posted."
In a new regulatory agenda announced April 26, Main's boss, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, announced that the agency was going to propose to revert to the pre-1992 regulatory language to conform to the law Congress passed.
"In the ever-changing mine environment, it is critical that hazardous conditions be recognized and abated quickly," the department's regulatory agenda said. "Operator pre-shift examinations for hazards and violations of mandatory health or safety standards are mandated in the Mine Act and are a critical component of an effective safety and health program for underground mines.
"While this requirement was previously included in regulations, the 1992 final rule addressing ventilation in underground coal mines only included the requirement that the pre-shift examiner look for hazards," the agenda said.
"The 1992 rule omitted from the regulation text taken from the Mine Act requiring examination for violations of mandatory safety or health standards," it said. "The reinstitution of this practice should result in reduced risk of injury, death and illness, and should lead to fewer citations for safety and health violations during MSHA compliance inspections of underground mines."
@tag:Reach Ken Ward Jr. at kw...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1702.