MSHA Proposes Expanding Range of Coal Mine Exams


"New rules would require inspections for violations of health or safety standards."

Federal regulators are calling on coal operators to conduct more extensive inspections of their underground mines.

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration proposed revising its rules to require mines to inspect for violations of mandatory health or safety standards. They must then correct and record any problems.

The rules now focus their inspections on hazardous conditions.

The proposed rule change would apply to pre-shift, supplemental, on-shift and weekly exams.

Regulators say the proposal follows their study of accident investigation and enforcement reports going back five years. It also comes after the April blast at West Virginia's Upper Big Branch that killed 29 men. MSHA and state officials each continue to investigate that disaster.

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