Rock Products

MAY 2018

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66 • ROCK products • May 2018 FOCUS ON HEALTH & SAFETY The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reported that on March 24, two miners were using a man-lift to charge (load) blast holes with non-electric blasting caps, 8-grain boosters and ammonium nitrate fuel oil (ANFO) blasting agent. During the loading process, one of the non-electric shock- tubes became wedged on the man-lift basket. As the man-lift operator progressed across the face loading the blast holes, the wedged shock-tube stretched and broke (snapped) causing a pre-detonation of a blast hole. As a result of the pre-detonation, one miner received minor injuries and the other miner serious injuries. MSHA recommends the following best practices to avoid this type of accident: •  Explosive materials should be kept organized and under the direct observation of the blaster during loading opera- tions so personnel and equipment does not inadvertently come in contact with them. •  The manufacturer's recommendations regarding maximum loading on the tubing are to be followed (e.g. maximum primer weight lowered into hole by the tubing). •  Shock tubing is not to be subjected to undue tension by pulling, in hole to hole situations. • Situations in which shock tubing is subjected to impact by falling rock, equipment etc. is to be avoided. •  Excess shock tubing can be coiled, but should not be cut off. •  Shock l tube downlines should be tied to pegs visible to vehicle operators. • The blast crew should carefully consider the blast design and plan the loading sequence to avoid having to move over or too near to loaded holes. MSHA to Publish Final Rule on Workplace Exams The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) will pub- lish a final rule on Examinations of Working Places in Metal and Nonmetal Mines that amends a final rule published on Jan. 23, 2017. The amendments to the final rule require that an examination of the working place be conducted before work begins or as miners begin working in that place, and that the examina- tion record include a description of each condition found that may adversely affect the safety or health of miners and is not corrected promptly, and the date of the corrective action for the condition. MSHA will publish a separate notice announcing stake- holder meetings across the country to provide outreach and compliance assistance materials on the Final Rule. A notice announcing additional meetings to be held in Seattle and other locations by way of video teleconferencing will be pub- lished at a later date. The documents will be published in the Federal Register as of April 9. They are available for viewing now, at the Office of the Federal Register, Public Inspection Desk as a Regular Filing. Additional information on the final rule is found on MSHA's website, MSHA Seeks to Collect Unpaid Fines David Zatezalo, Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) administrator, and Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta recently highlighted that the agency will look to collect $67 million of unpaid fines issued over the last decade. Known as the MSHA Scofflaw Program, the agency issued 16 citations for failing to pay penalties since 2007. "Ultimately, a more robust Scofflaw Program is about more than collecting unpaid fines. It is about promoting the health and safety of America's proud miners," Zatezalo wrote in a March 6 opinion piece published by The Intelligencer Wheeling News-Register. "If operators fail to show good faith and arrange to pay their penalties, MSHA will pursue them with every means under the law." Secretary Acosta told members of the House Appropriations Committee's Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee that recouping those unpaid fines are a high priority. "Beginning immediately, we are notifying individuals that have not paid their fines – and they need to pay their fines. We have legal methods at our disposal that we can imple- ment if they have not paid those fines," he said. The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) said it continues to push MSHA to provide support for com- pliance, including providing funding for small mines, so that operators and regulators work together to improve safety. The aggregates industry recently achieved a record-low injury rate of 1.74 per 200,000 hours worked. It is the 17th consecutive year that the rate improved. MSHA Issues New Serious Accident Alert

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