Rock Products

NOV 2012

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Consistency In his remarks to members of the aggre‐ gates industry, on July 16, 2012, MSHA's chief, Joe Main stated, "Consistency in the application and enforcement of standards remains a key concern to the industry, and we are improving consis‐ tency." He praised MSHA for publishing the June 21 PPL, "a policy letter modeled after OSHA's standard clarifying the sit‐ uations in which the MSHA's fall protec‐ tion standard applies." Mr. Main continued, "There had been general confusion about the standard and some inconsistencies in enforcement as a re‐ sult. This clarified policy will go a long way to ensuring consistency in enforce‐ ment of the standard, as well as the safety of miners. We intend to look at more of these types of situations." While MSHA's stated goals of improving consistency are praiseworthy, the PPL falls short; it ignores coal operators struggling to determine how comply with the same vague standard and still leaves room for subjective determina‐ tion of when there exists "a danger of falling" in those cases where MSHA be‐ lieves compliance with OSHA's fall pro‐ tection standard does not "satisfy the requirements of MSHA's 30 C.F.R. §§ 56/57.15005." This is concerning, as MSHA, on its website, attributes fall pro‐ tection deficiencies to 48 fatalities at non‐coal facilities and 25 fatalities at coal facilities since 2000. This is not a one‐way street. Parts 56, 57 and 77 all have standards relating to berming roadways where there is a drop‐off or grade sufficient to cause equipment to roll over or injure persons in the equipment. Parts 56 and 57 are enforced entirely subjectively based on the perception of the inspector. The Coal Mine General In‐ spection Procedures Handbook, on the other hand, contains a chart indicating the combinations of grades and depths which are deemed "sufficient to cause" a rollover and thus guide operators as to when berms are required and when they are not. In contrast to the guidance on fall protection, the guidance on berms has never formally been adopted by Metal/Nonmetal. With end of the calendar year nearly upon us, a look back at 2012 shows some encouraging movement by MSHA toward more regulatory consis‐ tency, but it is clear the agency still has much work to do. We encourage the agency's efforts toward simplify‐ ing and improving grey areas in com‐ pliance and enforcement, but we sincerely hope that MSHA redoubles those efforts in 2013. E ELEC ELECTRITRIC M THE CONCRETE AGGREGAGREGAAT C MOOTORSSR S & & SHAFT MOUNTS FO OUNTS FOR TE INDUSTRY ! S & SHAFT M TE INDU USTRRY NTS FO Y IMPORTER / DISTRIBUTOR FACTORY- DIRECT $27 MILLION $ W WoorldW ide Elec ctric Corporation 1-800-808-2131 Ƈ www .worldwideelectric.net www.rockproducts.com Learn m pro mo re about WorldWide Electric roducts! ROCKproducts • NOVEMBER 2012 35

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