Rock Products

AUG 2019

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98 • ROCK products • August 2019 Aggregates Industry Almanac MSHA Report T he U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) completed a major upgrade to its primary data system – the Mine Data Retrieval System (MDRS) – bringing increased functionality and more intuitive navigation to this widely used feature. The MDRS offers a variety of tools to help operators mon- itor their compliance with MSHA regulations. The system provides access to comprehensive mine location, status, ownership, employment, production, accident/inspection/ violations history and health-sampling data. Additionally, MSHA's compliance assistance calculators – Pat- tern of Violations (POV), Significant and Substantial Rate, and Violations per Inspection Day – can also be accessed on the agency's website, The MDRS gateway is the most visited page on the website. All the standard reports previously provided are still available, but now MSHA-wide statistical reports providing real-time data are also tied to the MDRS. Furthermore, the new system provides advanced search capabilities where users can select entire industries, multiple mines, and ownership groups. The platform also allows users to export datasets into either Excel or PDF for further analysis. "The new Mine Data Retrieval System will simplify the pro- cess for operators and others to obtain key data points and compare the safety of their mines with industry standards," said MSHA Assistant Secretary David G. Zatezalo. The upgrade has been in the works for more than a year and was guided in part by input from stakeholders, including mine operators and associations, who participated via three webinars. A beta version was run side-by-side with the orig- inal platform on the agency homepage as MSHA gathered feedback and refined the system. The new MDRS is now the exclusive gateway to this real-time data, posted at Fire Suppression In September 2018, three mobile equipment fires were reported in which fire suppression systems failed. One miner died from severe burns, another was injured. To avert future injuries, MSHA quickly identified all mobile equipment with fire suppression systems being used in U.S. mines – a total of 4,288 vehicles. By mid-January, each piece of equipment had been inspected for proper installation and functioning of the suppression system. Mine operators and miners were also advised of best practices. MSHA reminds mine operators that they are responsible for ensuring that adequate and effective fire protection equip- ment, which includes fire suppression systems, is provided. It's also the responsibility of mine operators and miners to ensure that fire hazards on surface vehicles are adequately eliminated and/or mitigated. Fully compliant systems adhere to the requirements in National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 17 and 17A (Standards for Dry and Wet Chemical Extinguishing Sys- tems), the system manufacturer's recommendations, as well as 30 CFR. MSHA wants operators to contact manufacturers when nec- essary and check their fire suppression systems to ensure they will operate in case of a fire. If a fire does ignite, it is imperative that miners have a means to dismount equipment quickly and safely. MSHA encourages manufacturers of surface vehicles, as well as mine operators, to develop and install evacuation methods that allow a miner to stay away from areas of the vehicle where, historically, fires have started. Such areas include the engine and battery com- partments and hydraulic hoses. Adequate task training must be performed so equipment operators and mechanics will be able to maintain equip- ment, respond correctly to alarms, use fire suppression systems properly, and safely dismount equipment in an emergency. Mine operators should provide refresher train- ing as needed. MSHA will continue to seek feedback and improve the MDRS to assist all stakeholders and the general public in monitoring the safety and health of the nation's miners. MSHA has posted information on the initiative, including a detailed presentation on inspection of fire suppression sys- tems and an inspection checklist that may be used by MSHA inspectors for reviewing the systems and operator compli- ance. Go to Scofflaw MSHA announced that 49 mine operators have either taken steps to enter into payment agreements or satisfied their delinquent debts, resulting 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 Zatezalo. "Failure to pay penalties is unfair to both miners who deserve safe work- places as well as operators who play by the rules. While 90% MSHA Report Update from the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

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