We have confirmation on the updated MSHA workplace exam rule after some initial confusion around the Trump Administration’s freeze on all Obama regulations not finalized in the Federal Register. The MSHA workplace exam rule will go into effect on May 23rd as scheduled. This means your current MSHA workplace inspection form will soon be wrong.
Has anyone come up with an MSHA workplace inspection form that meets the new requirements? Yes, and you can get it for free. More on that later.
How did the new MSHA workplace exam rule get through?
According to Willa Perlmutter, an attorney at Stoel-Rives:
The Labor Department’s current position is that the workplace examination rules were not affected by the memorandum and that the May 23 effective date remains in place.
However, a new Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health has not yet been named, so it is possible that the incoming head of MSHA will take steps to amend the rules or even withdraw them entirely.
You should check out the whole article. It’s full of helpful, specific information.
But There’s Good News
Upon closer inspection, the final rule has 3 significant changes from the proposed rule.
The final rule requires:
- The examination be conducted before miners are exposed to adverse conditions.
- Affected miners be notified when a hazardous condition is found.
- The workplace exam inspection form include the locations examined, the adverse conditions found and the date of the corrective action.
The proposed rule contained 3 elements that were eliminated as a result of industry push-back. These elements are:
- Provide a description of the corrective action taken for each recorded adverse condition;
- Maintain the name of the individual who performed the corrective action;
- Sign and date the workplace exam record by the examiner.
It would have been extremely difficult to comply with those rules (not to mention time-consuming and expensive as we’ve previously covered). This is a big win for common sense regulation.
Trump can direct inspectors to ignore the new workplace exam rule, right?
Here’s the deal:
Trump and the new head of MSHA can “De-emphasize” any regulation they want. But here’s 3 reasons why you should still prepare your company to comply with the updated rule:
- The Trump administration has indicated MSHA is a low priority in their administration. They might not de-emphasize the rule in the first place. And even if they do;
- The updated workplace exam rule is officially on the books. It’s a final rule. The new rule will be implemented eventually. The Trump administration and their Assistant Secretary for MSHA can decide to not enforce the rule. But as soon as a democrat comes to power they will enforce it.
- The cost of complying with the new rule is much lower than the potential cost of getting a citation and going to court.
The new workplace exam rule is going to happen one way or the other. You may as well prepare your company.
The New MSHA Workplace Inspection Form
Changing the reporting requirement means every mine in the country must change their MSHA workplace inspection form.
Making new paperwork for this rule is tricky. There are a lot of traps you could walk into.
This MSHA workplace inspection form will allow you to document an entire small or medium mine with just one page. Larger mines can just use 2 or 3 sheets to get the job done.
The best part? You can download Kim’s MSHA workplace inspection form right now – free.
An Evolving Situation
We will continue to follow this story closely. The updated workplace exam rules leave us with unanswered questions and much more to discuss. You’ll be the first to hear about it if you get our MSHA Alerts Email. If not, sign up here -free- for industry leading news and analysis, delivered right to your inbox.