MSHA PROGRAM POLICY MANUAL VOLUME IV February 2003 (Release IV-21) 64 Subpart Q Safety Programs

 56/57.18002 Examination of Working Places 30 CFR '' 56/57.18002, Examination of working places, provide:

(a) A competent person designated by the operator shall examine each working place at least once each shift for conditions which may adversely affect safety or health. The operator shall promptly initiate appropriate action to correct such conditions.

(b) A record that such examinations were conducted shall be kept by the operator for a period of one year, and shall be made available for review by the Secretary or his authorized representative.

(c) In addition, conditions that may present an imminent danger which are noted by the person conducting the examination shall be brought to the immediate attention of the operator who shall withdraw all persons from the area affected (except persons referred to in section 104(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977) until the danger is abated. MSHA intends that the terms "competent person" and "working place," used in §§56/57.18002(a), be interpreted as defined in §§ 56/57.2, Definitions. A "competent person," according to '' 56/57.2, is "a person having abilities and experience that fully qualify him to perform the duty to which he is assigned." This definition includes any person who, in the judgment of the operator, is fully qualified to perform the assigned task. MSHA does not require that a competent person be a mine foreman, mine superintendent, or other person associated with mine management.

The phrase "working place" is defined in 30 CFR '' 56/57.2 as: "any place in or about a mine where work is being performed." As used in the standard, the phrase applies to those locations at a mine site where persons work during a shift in the mining or milling processes.

Standards 56/57.18002(b) require operators to keep records of working place examinations. These records must include:

(1) The date the examination was made;

(2) The examiner's name; and

(3) The working places examined.

(Do not add anything else to this record!  $afepro)

MSHA intends to allow operators considerable flexibility in complying with this provision in order to minimize the paperwork burden.

Records of examinations may be entered on computer data bases or documents already in use, such as production sheets, logs, charts, time cards, or other format that is more convenient for mine operators. In order to comply with the record retention portion of §§ 56/57.18002(b), operators must retain workplace examination records for the preceding 12 months. (Note: The suggested documents which MSHA states “are already in use” are documents containing information the Law does not require you show the inspector!)

Evidence that a previous shift examination was not conducted or that prompt corrective action was not taken will result in a citation for violation of §§ 56/57.18002(a) or (c). This evidence may include information which demonstrates that safety or health hazards existed prior to the working shift in which they were found.

Although the presence of hazards covered by other standards may indicate a failure to comply with this standard, MSHA does not intend to cite §§ 56/57.18002 automatically when the Agency finds an imminent danger or a violation of another standard.