Hazard Complaint Investigations

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is likely to receive and investigate more Hazard Complaints this year than in the recent past. Times are tough. Lay-offs and reduced work schedules tend to spawn hazard complaints, meaning mine operators should be prepared to deal with complaints and complaint investigations. The first steps are to understand a mine operator’s rights during a complaint investigation and to understand MSHA’s Hazard Complaint investigation policy and procedures.

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The Continuing Evolution of the Informal Conference

To readers who are frustrated by the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s (MSHA) ever-changing informal conference process, you are not alone. Although we have written on the informal conference process in the past, recent changes in MSHA policy make an update on this subject timely.

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Expectations and Strategies for a New Era in Mine Safety

Two weeks before the presidential election, then-Senator Barack Obama sent a letter to John Gage, the national president of the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO. The “failure to ensure mine safety” has been “one of the worst disasters of the Bush administration,” he wrote. In my Department of Labor, the Administrator of Mine Safety and Health will be an advocate for miners’ safety and health, not for the mining companies’ bottom lines. Our mine safety program will have the staffing and the enforcement tools needed to get the job done.”

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