Mining Safety: MSHA Certification and Mining Acts

Mining Safety, MSHA Certification

Mining Safety, Mining Safety: MSHA Certification and Mining Acts

Mining safety has been looked upon with growing concern for over a hundred years. This is due to, it’s dangerous working conditions. In addition to its highly unstable ground.

Consequently, the introduction of the first act of safety was in 1891.

This act involved the banning of children under twelve years old in underground mines in the U.S.

Furthermore, this was a giant leap forward for mining safety.

Also, another act was put in place in 1947. This was the introduction of the first Federal safety standards for bituminous coal and lignite mines.

Later, the passing of the Federal Coal Mining Safety Act came in 1952.

This Act outlined how to prevent major disasters.

Major Situations Outlined in this Act for Mining Safety

  • Requiring annual inspections in certain underground coal mines.
  • The limitation of enforcement authority given to the Bureau of Mines.
  • Also, including power to issue violation notices. This is as well as, imminent danger withdrawal orders.
  • Mandatory safety standards for underground coal mines.
  • Also, more stringent standards for “gassy” mines.
  • Furthermore, the assessment of civil penalties against mine operators for noncompliance.

These standards extended to all underground mining faculties by 1966.

Also, in 1966, the passing of the Federal Metal and Nonmetallic Mine Safety Act occurred.

This stated procedures for developing safety and health standards. These standards were for metal and nonmetal mines.

It also, required one annual inspection. These inspections were for all underground mining faculties.

The next major advance in health and safety came in 1969.

This was the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969. Also known as, the Coal Act.

It was the most comprehensive and straightforward legislation governing mining.

Key Components of the Coal Act

  • Four annual inspections required at all underground coal mines.
  • Two annual inspections required at all surface coal mine.
  • Also, mandatory fines for all violations.
  • Criminal penalties for knowing and willful violations.
  • Individual State enforcement plans discontinued.
  • Safety standards for all coal mines strengthened and health standards adopted.
  • Specific procedures created for developing improved mandatory safety and health standards.
  • Also, training grant programs were instituted.
  • Miners given the right to request a Federal inspection.
  • Furthermore, miners disabled by black lung disease provided benefits.

This was the opening for the founding of a new organization. The Mining Enforcement and Safety Administration.

Also known as, MSEA.

MSEA came to be in 1973.

This organization enforced health and safety regulations.

This also, gave way to the founding of the Mine Safety and Health Administration. Also known as, MSHA.

Furthermore, this administration was governed by the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977. This was also known as, the Mine Act.

Which was responsible for decreasing fatalities in mines dramatically.

This act included the transferring of responsibility from the Department of the Interior to the Department of Labor.

It is now known as, MSHA.

Due to the Mine Act, both coal and metal/nonmetal had placement under one regulation.

Key Components of the Mine Act

  • Four annual inspections required at all underground mines.
  • This is along with, two annual inspections required at all surface mines.
  • Strengthened and expanded rights for miners.
  • Also, enhanced protection of miners from retaliation for exercising such rights.
  • Mandatory miner training provisions established.
  • Furthermore, the requirement of mine rescue teams for all underground mines.

However, in 2006 this act had revisions.

Furthermore, the new revised act was called the Miner Act.

The revisions or improvements made to this act focused on Emergency Response Plans.

Revisions of the Mine Act 1977

  • Mine-specific emergency response plans in underground coal mines.
  • New regulations regarding mine rescue teams and sealing of abandoned areas.
  • Prompt notification of mine accidents.
  • Also, enhanced civil penalties.

The Agency develops and enforces safety and health rules for all U.S. mines regardless of size, number of employees, commodity mined, or method of extraction. MSHA also provides technical, educational and other types of assistance to mine operators. We work cooperatively with industry, labor, and other Federal and state agencies to improve safety and health conditions for all miners in the United States.

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