New Study Details Prevalence of Hearing Loss among Noise-Exposed Mining, and Oil and Gas Extraction Workers

Photo: sshepard/iStockphoto

As many as 1 in 3 workers affected in some Mining industries

A new study published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine external icon is the first to examine hearing loss prevalence and risk by industry within the Oil and Gas Extraction sector, and within most Mining sector industries. Researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that in many industries within these sectors, at least 25% of the workers had hearing loss. In some industries, more than 30% had hearing loss. Read more»

Waking up to the risks of workplace fatigue

More than 1 in 10 injuries on the job may be linked to insufficient sleep, experts say

Image: kali9/iStockphoto

For many people struggling to cope with the pressures of life in a 24/7, on-demand world, sleep gets relegated to the bottom of their to-do list. Sleep is sacrificed to squeeze in an extra hour of productivity, or because rest time is equated with wasted time.

“In America, we have a long-standing culture of thinking, ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead,’ or ‘Sleep is for lazy people,’ or ‘People who value rest are not as ambitious,’” said Emily Whitcomb, senior program manager, fatigue initiative, at the National Safety Council. “We have a history of incentivizing people who work long hours with extra pay, promotions and recognition.”    Read more»

Training to defend against MSHA citations: Alternative Case Resolution Workshop: Understanding MSHA Litigation and Saving Costs

Tuesday, October 8 – Thursday, October 10, 2019
Husch Blackwell

1801 Wewatta Street, Suite 1000

Denver, CO 80202

The average mining operator now spends $20,000 per year on citations and penalties. In this must-attend conference for cost-savings, learn how to reduce or eliminate fines with the added benefit of improved safety conditions. With increasing citations, this workshop will prepare you to handle Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) inspectors and their findings.

This two-and-a-half day workshop includes breakfast and lunch and will cover:

  • Legal and procedural processes of field inspections
  • Citations & Alternative Case Resolution Initiative (ACRI) resolutions
  • Necessary skills for mine operators and representatives to navigate the ACRI process

Tuesday, October 8
8:45 a.m. – Registration
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Program

Wednesday, October 9
8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Program
6:30 p.m. – Networking dinner

Thursday, October 10
8:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon – Program

Who Should Attend

Presidents, CEOs, vice presidents, managers, supervisors/superintendents, forepersons, chief financial officers, mining engineers, safety and health directors, attorneys, human resource directors, and any other salaried/management personnel who interact with MSHA inspectors.

Workshop Cost
The fee of $675 includes:

  • Networking dinner on Wednesday, October 9
  • Two-and-a-half day program
  • Written presentation materials
  • Breakfast and lunch
  • Hands on instruction from three seasoned MSHA litigators – Mark Savit, Donna Pryor and Erik Dullea

Hotel Options
If you are traveling to Denver for this workshop, please click here to view a list of recommended local hotels.


Registration is requested by Tuesday, October 1. Space is limited; please register early.

MSHA Fatality #16

MSHA MINE FATALITY – On August 20, 2019, a 20-year-old miner with 27 weeks of mining experience was fatally injured when he fell 40 feet down a shaft, to the cement floor below. The victim was working with another miner, unloading a refuse kettle attached to an electric hoist, when he went over the unguarded edge of the shaft.

Photo of Accident Scene Described in the Paragraph Above
Best Practices:
  • Always use fall protection equipment and safety belts with lines, when working at heights and near openings where there is a danger of falling.
  • Have properly designed gates, safety chains, handrails, guards, and ensure covers are securely in place at openings through which persons may fall.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings and any hazards that may be present.
  • Establish and discuss safe work procedures.
  • Train personnel in safe work procedures regarding the use of handrails and fall protection equipment, and ensure their use.
  • Conduct workplace examinations in order to identify and correct hazards prior to performing work. Report hazards that you cannot immediately correct to management.
Additional Information:

This is the 16th MSHA fatality reported in calendar year 2019. As of this date in 2018, there were 13 MSHA fatalities reported. This is the second MSHA fatality classified as Slip or Fall of Person in 2019. There were no MSHA fatalities classified as Slip or Fall of Person during the same period in 2018.

FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse Query Plan Details

Query plans will be available for purchase on the Clearinghouse website in fall 2019.

FMCSA has released the query plan options for employers of CDL drivers. The query plan information is in the attached factsheet, it is also available for download on the Clearinghouse website. Query plans will be available for purchase fall 2019.

Learn More About Query Plans →

MSHA Fatality #15

On Friday August 15, 2019, a 44-year-old contract electrician with 10 weeks of mining experience was electrocuted when he contacted a 120V cable while working inside a fire suppression system’s electrical panel.

The accident scene for fatality on August 15, 2019
Best Practices: 
  1. Ensure miners receive proper training on all electrical related tasks.
  2. Ensure that circuit breakers and switches are properly labeled.
  3. Properly lock-out and tag-out electrical circuits prior to working on them.
  4. Wear properly rated and well maintained personal protective equipment while troubleshooting or testing energized circuits.
  5. Use properly insulated tools when performing electrical work.
  6. Use properly rated electrical meters and non-contact voltage testers to ensure electrical circuits have been de-energized prior to performing electrical work.
Additional Information:

This is the 15th MSHA fatality reported in calendar year 2019.  As of this date in 2018, there were 12 MSHA fatalities reported.  This is the second electrical accident classification fatality in 2019.  There was one electrical accident classification fatality during the same period in 2018.

Preparing for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

Changes to the Data Required on the Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form and the Alcohol Testing Form Required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Beginning January 6, 2020

To ensure you are prepared on January 6, 2020, when the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse) becomes operational, we want to remind you about an upcoming change related to recording information on the Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form (CCF) and Alcohol Testing Form (ATF).

Read more»