Joseph Main is the Assistant Secretary for the Mine Safety and Health Administration.
The Department of Labor’s Strategic Plan contains Secretary Solis’ vision for the future: good jobs for everyone. MSHA’s mission is to prevent death, disease, and injury from mining and promote safe and healthful workplaces for the Nation’s miners. MSHA’s Fall 2010 Regulatory Agenda directly supports this mission by ensuring that workplaces are safe and healthy. Miners should never have to sacrifice their lives for their livelihood, and all deserve to come home to their families at the end of their shift safe and whole.
Our Fall Regulatory Agenda has 11 regulatory actions which will help us to achieve this goal.
The actions included in the Agenda support the Department of Labor’s Plan, Prevent, Protect regulatory approach. Plan, Prevent, Protect is based on the principle that mine operators “find and fix” violations before an MSHA inspector arrives at the workplace. For example, we will issue a proposed regulation to require mine operators to conduct examinations in underground coal mines for violations of mandatory health or safety standards.
Our regulatory actions also focus on protecting miners’ health. We will continue to work on the proposed rule to address risks to coal miners from exposure to respirable coal mine dust. The proposed rule is part of MSHA’s Comprehensive Black Lung Reduction Strategy to eliminate this terrible disease.
In addition, MSHA plans to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on Proximity Detection Systems. The ETS would be in response to the grave danger that miners face when working near mobile equipment in underground mines. Proximity detection technology can prevent pinning, crushing, or striking accidents.
We encourage you to participate in all phases of MSHA’s rulemaking process, so that together we can achieve good jobs for everyone by ensuring safe and healthful workplaces for the Nation’s miners.
Ed. Note: Please note that comments posted to this blog are not part of the formal rulemaking process. You can find DOL’s proposed regulations, and submit comments, by visiting www.regulations.gov.