MINING DIRT

David Pfile, Hanson Southwest Region Safety Officer, died on February 24, 2004.  Dave was a friend of the Industry and a leader in $afe Production.

 

It was a privilege to have David Pfile, Hanson Central Region Safety Manager, in the Savannah, GA Institute. David was a leading proponent for $afe Production and an "NSA Safety Officer of the Year". David's experience in making safety a profit center was invaluable throughout the Institute and the development of $afe Production for the Industry.

In honor of Dave's life and contributions to the Industry $afepro presents The Dave Pfile Scholarship to a person in the Industry who exhibits the moral and leadership contributions to Mining and Quarrying as Dave did throughout his career. The October 2009 Dave Pfile Scholarship Recipient was Jim Sharpe, editor and reporter, for the excellent Sharpe's Point Industry Newsletter.

 

If you weren't concerned about FOIA abuses by MSHA you need to be concerned about this. It hits the Industry right in the "POCKETBOOK".

Click the Blue "Jan. 19, 2005" link below to get the full report.

Jan. 19, 2005, PA EQB Amends State Explosives Regulations to Address Homeland Security Issues.

 

S&S Case Law

 

MSHA has changed the wording of their S&S enforcement policy in the latest update to Vol. I of their Policy Manual. If you have not seen it click on this address: http://http://www.msha.gov/REGS/COMPLIAN/PPM/PMVOL1C.HTM#25 and it will take you to the MSHA site and you can see the changes. The information says the same thing in more words. I see it as the Agency confusing the issue so that the Producers will back off and take any S&S citation. If you do not stay on top of the changes, it allows the inspectors to appear to have power which they do not. Here is the policy prior to the update:

MSHA                   PROGRAM POLICY MANUAL                       VOLUME I
                                                                   SEC 104

 

 

If an operator at a certain mine is under the 104 (d) unwarrantable sequence, and if that operator sells that mine, the new mine owner does not normally inherit the previous owner’s unwarrantable sequence. This is true for all cases, except where there has been a change in name only or where the ownership change is merely a paper change. If the new owner/operator is essentially the same as the previous owner/operator, then the unwarrantable sequence is to remain in effect.

 

104(d) (1)1(e) (1)    Guidelines for Determining “Significant and

Substantial” Violations

The following guidelines describe the principles applicable to determining whether a violation is “significant and substantial” under Sections 104 (d) (1) and 104 (e) (1) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977.

 

In Secretary of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration v.

National Gypsum Company, decided on April 7, 1981, the Federal

Mine Safety and Health Review Commission held that

 

a violation is of such a nature as could significantly and substantially contribute to the cause and effect of a mine safety or health hazard if, based upon the particular facts surrounding that violation, there exists a reasonable likelihood that the hazard contributed to will result in an injury or illness of a reasonably serious nature.

 

General Guidelines. In determining whether a violation could “significantly and substantially contribute to the cause and effect of a mine safety or health hazard,” inspectors must first find that

 

 1.   an injury or illness would be reasonably likely to occur if the violation were not corrected; and

2.   if the injury or illness were to occur, it would be reasonably serious.

 

Both of these findings must be made before a violation can be designated as “significant and substantial.” All of the facts relevant to this evaluation should be included in the inspector’s notes. Violations designated as “significant and substantial” should also be generally consistent with the information recorded on the Inspector’s Evaluation Section of MSHA Form 7000-3, Mine

04/01/91 (Release 1-3)            17

 

 


See The Inspectors notes


Dennis Johnson, Regional Safety Manager
Chemical Lime, LTD

Back in the late seventies, I asked MSHA how I could get The Inspector’s Notes. I was told, “Subpoena them!” Being young and gullible, I accepted that and for almost 25 years believed that that was the only way to get them. Fortunately, I met Dennis Johnson, Regional Safety Manager, Chemical Lime LTD. He said, “Just ask for them under the Freedom of Information Act. I do it all of the time. I even tell the inspectors to write legibly because I don’t want our people to have any trouble reading your notes.” The notes are used for review during all citation contestments and are very handy when it comes to proving that you, not the inspector, are the expert on the condition of your site.

 The request is for notes relative to specific Agency activity (i.e., Inspections, investigations, etc.) and cover a specifis time period. The request goes to your District Office and you have them shortly for your review and planning.

More on this....


 


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