White House Announces Raymond Martinez as FMCSA Administrator Nominee; CVSA Looks Forward to Ongoing Positive Relationship with Administration

President Donald Trump announced that he intends to nominate Raymond P. Martinez of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) to serve as the next administrator of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).“The Alliance supports this nomination,” said Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) Executive Director Collin Mooney. “With Mr. Martinez at the helm of FMCSA, we look forward to continuing our long-standing history of fostering a collaborative and cooperative relationship between CVSA and one of its federal government partners, FMCSA.”

For full information see the CVSA website at cvsa.org

OSHA and ASSE Working Together to Provide Resources to Those Affected by Hurricane Harvey

OSHA and the American Society of Safety Engineers have partnered to distribute protective equipment and other resources to those in Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey. The personal protective equipment will be distributed to area businesses and recovery workers by staff from OSHA’s Houston and Corpus Christi offices as they provide support to the many employers and contractors assisting with cleanup and recovery. ASSE members will also distribute the donations to the community to aid in the cleanup of residential locations.
For more information visit the OSHA website at www.osha.gov

MSHA Proposes Changes to Final Rule on Workplace Examinations in Metal and Nonmetal Mines

MSHA published today two proposed rules in the Federal Register that would change the Agency’s final rule on Examinations of Working Places in Metal and Nonmetal Mines that was published on Jan. 23, 2017.

The first proposed rule would make limited changes to the final rule. The proposed changes would require that an examination of the working place be conducted before work begins or as miners begin work in that place, and that the examination record include descriptions of adverse conditions that are not corrected promptly and the dates of corrective action for these conditions. It would provide mine operators additional flexibility in managing their safety and health programs and reduce regulatory burdens without reducing the protections afforded miners. The proposed rule would continue to permit mine operators with consecutive shifts or those that operate on a 24-hour, 365-day basis to conduct an examination on the previous shift.

The second proposed rule would further delay the effective date of the final rule. The proposed extension would offer additional time for MSHA to provide stakeholders training and compliance assistance.
MSHA will hold four public hearings on the proposed rule. Each hearing will begin at 9:00 a.m. local time.

For full information see the MSHA website

Examinations of Working Places in Metal and Nonmetal Mines Proposed Rules

Delay of Effective Date; and Limited Reopening of the Rulemaking Record; Notice of Public Hearings; Close of Comment Period

On September 12, 2017, MSHA will publish two proposed rules in the Federal Register to amend the Agency’s Examinations of Working Places in Metal and Nonmetal Mines final rule (82 FR 7680). Both proposed rules will be available for viewing on September 11, 2017, at 8:45 a.m. at the Office of the Federal Register, Public Inspection Desk.

The first proposed rule would make limited changes to the Agency’s final rule. These proposed changes seek to provide mine operators additional flexibility in managing their safety and health programs and reduce regulatory burdens without reducing protections afforded miners.

The second proposed rule would further delay the effective date of the final rule to ensure that the mining community can be provided the training and compliance assistance needed before the final rule becomes effective.

Comments on the proposed extension must be received by midnight Daylight Saving Time on September 26, 2017.

MSHA Leadership Position Announcements from the PCA

On August 21st, Secretary Alexander Acosta appointed his former chief of staff, Capitol Hill veteran Wayne Palmer, as acting Assistant Secretary of Mine Safety and Health. Palmer’s replacement at the Department of Labor, Nicholas Geale (who is also the Department’s acting Solicitor), stated that Palmer is from Pennsylvania and has “mining in his family’s background.” Palmer’s political experience includes working for Senators Rick Santorum (R-PA) and George Voinovich (R-OH), as well as lobbyist for the pharmaceutical industry.

Department of Labor spokesman Eric Holland said Acosta “is confident that Mr. Palmer’s abilities and government experience will complement the eventual nominee’s deep industry expertise. In the meantime, Mr. Palmer will collaborate with senior career staff, who bring decades of experience to the table, on immediate priorities to improve the safety and health conditions for all American miners.”

Then on Saturday (September 2nd), the White House announced that President Trump would be nominating David Zatezalo to run the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Mr. Zatezalo was previously the CEO of Rhino Resources, a Kentucky-based coal company. The administration noted his looming nomination along with more than three dozen others in a Labor Day weekend press release. According to a biography released by the White House, Zatezalo started out as a miner in 1974, then worked as a mine foreman before becoming an executive. He received a degree in Mining Engineering from West Virginia University and an MBA from Ohio University.

Over his career, Mr. Zatezalo worked for Consolidation Coal Company, Southern Ohio Coal Company, and Windsor Coal Company. Most recently, between 2007 and 2014, Zatezalo served in a number of roles at Rhino Resources, including as its COO, president and CEO. He is the past chairman of the Ohio Coal Association and a member of Mine Rescue Veterans of Pittsburgh.Several insiders have noted that the confirmation process for Mr. Zatezalo could take months to complete.

National Mine Rescue Contest to Test Mine Emergency Response Skills

BECKLEY, WV – More than 60 teams representing coal mines around the country will participate in the 2017 National Mine Rescue, First Aid, Bench, and Preshift Competition

WHO: Mine Safety and Health Administration
Holmes Mine Rescue Association

WHAT: 2017 National Mine Rescue, First Aid, Bench, and Preshift Competition
WHEN: Monday, Sept. 11: Bench and first aid competitions
Tuesday, Sept. 12: Mine rescue team field competition
Wednesday, Sept. 13: Mine rescue team field competition
Thursday, Sept. 14: Preshift competition

Each day’s event starts at 8:00 a.m. EDT.

WHERE: National Mine Health and Safety Academy
1301 Airport Rd.
Beckley, WV 25813-9426

OSHA Proposes Extension to Compliance Deadline for Crane Operator Certification Requirements

OSHA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to extend the employer’s responsibility to ensure crane operator competency and enforcement for crane operator certification to Nov. 10, 2018. OSHA proposed a delay of the enforcement date to address stakeholder concerns over the operator certification requirements in the Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard. Comments may be submitted by Sept. 29 either electronically, at www.regulations.gov, or by facsimile or mail. See the Federal Register notice for submission details and more information.