Again we are grateful for Jim Sharpe’s fine reporting!
MSHA Team Demands Hazard Paperwork
A Metal/Non-Metal operator’s pre-shift examination form included a tear-off at the bottom listing hazards the examiner identified as he performed his workplace examination. Since the standard at 56/57.18002 does not require that hazard information be made available to MSHA, the operator refused to turn over that part of the form to an MSHA inspection team that demanded it during a visit in April.
The operator argued that, in February, the Agency rescinded a policy letter issued last fall that had called for release of hazard information. The MSHA group denied knowledge of the rescission and threatened to issue an order for impeding their inspection. The feds’ huffing and puffing continued even after the operator provided the team with a copy of their own agency’s policy document.
After about a week of back and forth, MSHA withdrew its unlawful demand.
The operator’s identity has been kept confidential at its request to prevent the possibility of retaliation.
(What some don't know is that showing the inspector the form listing hazards makes the hazards listed citable under the strict liability characteristics of the MS&H ACT of 1977, even though they were corrected. Isn’t it odd that MSHA inspectors are not current in the enforcement procedures their agency requires? How can MSHA expect the Mining Industry to comply when it cannot get its own inspectors to obey its requirements? The Industry must tell its government that this agency is squandering the taxpayers’ money. This misconduct by inspectors is demanding unnecessary legal costs to obtain “due process” and to protect the Operators’ Legal and Constitutional safeguards denied by the irresponsible conduct of MSHA and its inspectors. $afepro)