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NIOSH Update: New Study Details Prevalence of Hearing Loss in Mining and Oil and Gas Workers

A new study by NIOSH researchers published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine 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 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 about the study.

Respirable Silica (Quartz); Request for Information

Respirable Silica (Quartz); Request for Information

Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) published a Request for Information on Respirable Silica (Quartz) in the Federal Register.

MSHA is soliciting information and data from industry, labor, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and other stakeholders on feasible, best practices to protect miners’ health from exposure to quartz in respirable dust. These practices include an examination of an appropriately reduced permissible exposure limit, potential new or developing protective technologies, and/or technical and educational assistance.

View the Request for Information on FederalRegister.gov.

The comment period for the Request for Information closes on October 28, 2019.

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ADOT partners with Hopi Tribe on commercial vehicle safety inspections

Officers using mobile ports to check semis driving through reservation
PHOENIX – To enhance safety on state highways, the Arizona Department of Transportation’s Enforcement and Compliance Division partnered with the Hopi Tribe to set up a mobile commercial vehicle inspection site on the reservation.

Concerned that overweight semi trailers and those in violation of safety regulations may be using state roads that pass through the Hopi reservation to evade commercial ports of entry, the tribal government reached out to ADOT for assistance. ADOT sent officers to set up a mobile inspection site along State Route 264 near the junction with State Route 87, while officers patrolled other parts of SR 264, SR 87 and Indian Route 2 to ensure that commercial vehicles weren’t evading the mobile inspection site. Continue reading»

Upcoming Webinar on Expanded Focus for OSH

Expanding Research Partnerships Webinar Series logo 2019

Registration is open for the last installment of the 2019 Expanding Research Partnerships Webinar Series! Join us on September 18 for a webinar on the expanded focus for occupational safety and health. Paul A. Schulte, PhD, NIOSH Director of the Division of Science Integration, will present “Towards An Expanded Focus for Occupational Safety and Health,” and George Delclos, MD, MPH, PhD, Professor, University of Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health, will present “The Expanded Focus for Occupational Safety and Health (OSH): Implications for Research and Training of OSH Professionals.” The event is 12:00–1:30 p.m. (ET).

Beryllium in construction: OSHA advisory committee to host teleconference on potential rule changes

Photo: JacobH/iStockphoto

Washington — OSHA’s Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health has scheduled a teleconference/WebEx meeting for Sept. 9 to discuss potential changes to beryllium regulations, according to a notice published in the Aug. 8 Federal Register.

OSHA wants to “revoke the ancillary provisions” in the construction and shipyard industries but maintain the permissible exposure limit of 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter of air and short-term exposure limit of 2 micrograms per cubic meter of air, the agency states in a proposed rule published June 27, 2017. These provisions include exposure monitoring, regulated areas (and competent person in construction), written exposure control plans, protective equipment, medical surveillance, medical removal and worker training.

“OSHA has evidence that exposure in these industries is limited to a few operations and has information suggesting that requiring the ancillary provisions broadly may not improve worker protection and be redundant with overlapping protections in other standards,” the agency states in a press release issued June 23, 2017.

Beryllium is a lightweight metal used in industries such as electronics and energy. It can be highly toxic when released into the atmosphere, where workers can inhale it. Exposure can pose serious health risks to workers, including chronic beryllium disease and lung cancer.

Requests to speak or present a written or electronic presentation during the teleconference are due Sept. 4.

ACCSH advises the Department of Labor and OSHA on upcoming standards affecting the construction industry and “the administration of safety and health provisions” in the Construction Safety Act.

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

Agenda
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

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.