Rock Products

SEP 2017

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Page 50 of 55 ROCK products • September 2017 • 49 FOCUS ON HEALTH & SAFETY The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) announced that – for the third consecutive year – none of the nation's more than 13,000 mining operations meets the criteria for a Pattern of Viola- tions notice. The screening period started on July 1, 2016, and ended on June 30, 2017. The POV provision in the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 is one of MSHA's toughest enforcement tools. The agency reserves the provision for mines that pose the great- est risk to the health and safety of miners, particularly those with chronic violation records. The Mine Act authorizes MSHA to issue a POV notice to mine operators that demonstrate a disregard for the health and safety of miners through a pattern of significant and sub- stantial violations. It requires mines that receive POV notices to be issued withdrawal orders – temporarily ceasing oper- ations until the violation is abated – for all significant and substantial, or S&S, violations. "A number of mine operators have proactively implemented corrective action programs to address specific hazards at their mines to improve miner safety and health, and those efforts are paying off," said MSHA Deputy Assistant Secretary Patricia W. Silvey. "Throughout the year, MSHA works with mine oper- ators and miners to identify and correct recurring hazards." In January 2013, MSHA published its final POV rule to strengthen safety measures in the nation's most dangerous mines. The regulation enables MSHA to consider mitigating circumstances before issuing a POV notice and encourages mine operators to implement a corrective action program if they are approaching a POV. In recent years, MSHA developed two online tools to help mine operators monitor compliance – the POV monitoring tool, which alerts mine operators that they meet the screen- ing criteria and should take appropriate corrective actions; and the S&S rate calculator that enables mine operators to monitor their S&S violations. 3M Offers Center for Hearing Conservation Online Resource Operating a successful workplace hearing conservation pro- gram is just one of many challenging tasks health and safety managers face. Each day, they must enforce all applicable rules and regulations while providing the right equipment, training and support for their noise-exposed workforce. To help make this task easier, 3M Personal Safety Division launched a new online resource, the 3M Center for Hearing Conservation. Safety managers can find articles and details about the seven elements of a hearing loss prevention pro- gram as well as videos, toolkits, fast facts and more. Created by 3M audiologists and occupational health and safety specialists, the 3M Center for Hearing Conserva- tion can help companies as they work to ensure that legal requirements are met and that workers remain engaged and motivated. "We have known for decades that exposure to high noise causes hearing damage over time. However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are tens of thousands of work-related cases of noise-induced hearing loss reported each year. There are solutions, but it can be challenging for employers to develop effective preventive programs," said Dr. Laurie Wells, a doctor of audiology at 3M. "With the Center for Hearing Conservation, we are providing health and safety managers additional tools and resources to help prevent hearing damage within the workplace." 3M Center for Hearing Conservation outlines seven elements based on OSHA requirements and NIOSH recom- mendations to help guide occupational health and safety professionals as they work to create and maintain a hearing conservation program: • Measure. • Control. • Protect. • Check. • Train. • Record. • Evaluate. The 3M Center for Hearing Conservation joins the ranks of a number of online resources provided by 3M Personal Safety Division including: • Center for Respiratory Protection. • Safety Now and Next Blog. • Silica Tool Kit. 3M, MSHA: No Mining Operations Meet POV Criteria

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