Rock Products

DEC 2018

Rock Products is the aggregates industry's leading source for market analysis and technology solutions, delivering critical content focusing on aggregates-processing equipment; operational efficiencies; management best practices; comprehensive market

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66 • ROCKproducts • December 2018 FOCUS ON HEALTH & SAFETY According to the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Associa- tion (NSSGA), the Trump administration's latest regulatory agenda offered encouraging signs for aggregates industry priorities, including the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule, Endangered Species Act and Mine Safety Health Admin- istration (MSHA) improvements. The agenda does not include all upcoming and expected actions by federal agencies, but rather provides information on their priorities for the coming year. "The agenda reflects core administration priorities for reducing regulatory burdens across administrative agen- cies, including in the anticipated deregulatory and regulatory actions," the administration said in the report. It also indicated that efforts so far have resulted in $23 billion in regulatory cost savings in fiscal year 2018 across all federal agencies. MSHA is expected to modernize outdated regulations in 2019. NSSGA asked MSHA in August to modernize training videos to depict conditions and behavior that are genuinely compliant and safe, and to update the manual on accident investigations. MSHA continues its request for data and information on technologies, such as collision warning and seat belt starter interlock systems that could reduce incidents involving mobile equipment. The public comment period ends on Dec. 24, 2018. NSSGA will be submitting comments and seeks input from members for its comments. MSHA Reports Ninth Fatality of the Year The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reported that on Oct. 2, a 40-year-old miner with 20 years of expe- rience was fatally injured when struck by stemming sand ejected from a borehole. While conducting a blasting operation in a new vertical raise, a contract foreman was attempting to clean out a previously blasted vertical borehole with high-pressure air. A sudden release of energy forced stemming sand from the bottom of the borehole, striking the miner. This is the ninth fatality reported in calendar year 2018 in metal and nonmetal mining. As of this date in 2018, there were also nine fatalities reported in metal and nonmetal mining. This is the first Exploding Vessels under Pressure fatality in 2018. There were no Exploding Vessels under Pressure fatal- ities during the same period in 2017. MSHA recommends the following best practices to avoid this type of accident: • Assess the suitability of blasting methods when blasts do not perform as intended. • Use water to clean out the bottom of boreholes used for blasting. • Never position yourself directly over or in front of the collar of a borehole when cleaning it out. • Ensure miners are adequately task trained. MSHA Scofflaw Program Reclaims Unpaid Safety and Health Fines Seven months after taking action to strengthen enforcement efforts regarding delinquent fines and mine violations, the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Admin- istration (MSHA) announced that 49 mine operators have either taken steps to enter into payment agreements or satisfied their delinquent debts, result- ing in $5.2 million in recovered fines. "A robust Scofflaw Program is critical to protecting the health and safety of our nation's miners," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health David G. Zatezalo. "Failure to pay penalties is unfair to both miners who deserve safe workplaces as well as operators who play by the rules. While 90 percent of all penalties assessed for health and safety violations are paid in a timely manner, MSHA will continue to use all available enforcement mech- anisms to collect unpaid fines." In March, Zatezalo announced plans to strengthen the Scofflaw Program, an ini- tiative aimed at collecting unpaid fines from delinquent mine operators. MSHA delivered 30-day demand letters to an initial list of delinquent mine operators, providing them with an opportunity to set up a payment plan and making clear the consequence of non-payment. If mine operators fail to show good faith and make penalty payment arrange- ments, MSHA pursues collection of the fines owed through all legal means at its disposal. If necessary, MSHA can pursue a Mine Act 104(b) withdrawal order, which forces mine operators to cease produc- tion until fines are resolved. To date, MSHA has issued 12 104(b) orders; all but two mines have reopened and resumed operations. Regulatory Agenda Offers Encouraging Signs

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