All MSHA Regulations for 2022
What is the one constant in the world of mining? MSHA regulations will keep changing, and each year they focus on different areas of compliance! This is frustrating to many mine operators because they always feel behind.
You don't have to feel that way for 2022. Here is a quick breakdown of the MSHA areas of focus for 2022.
Keep reading so you can know what things the MSHA inspector will focus on so you are better prepared when they come.
Crystalline Silica MSHA Regulations Emphasis
MSHA is working to build new regulations for crystalline silica. Until then, they are focusing their agency on enforcing current regulations. Mine operators should focus on compliance until new regulations come out.
The Danger of Crystalline Silica
Crystalline silica is a very common mineral found in all types of material. Things like sand, concrete, mortar, and stone contain it. It becomes airborne through regular activity such as grinding, drilling, etc... at a mine.
The danger of crystalline silica is that it is very tiny and breathable. It is 100 times smaller than regular sand so anyone who isn't protected will breathe it into their lungs.
As miners breathe in the tiny material, it can cause them to develop some severe reactions. There are many silica-related diseases that have affected miners such as:
- Kidney disease
- Lung and other types of cancer
- Coal workers' pneumoconiosis (known as black lung)
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Progressive massive fibrosis
MSHA's goal is to protect the health of all miners and they believe stronger enforcement is a start. This is the first step toward stronger compliance and miner protection.
Inspections and Samplings
The agency will start addressing more silica dust-related inspections of mines across the country. It will focus on all mines such as coal and metal mines. Here is the list of the initiatives' focus areas:
- Surprise inspections at mines with a history of silica overexposure
- Greater oversight of mines that have previous citations for exposures over the limit of 100 micrograms
- Issuance of a 104(b) withdrawal order for mines that are not in compliance with past citations
- A focus on coal mines making improvements to dust control and ventilation to fix health hazards
- Expanded silica sampling so the full possibilities of hazards are taken into consideration
- Taking more samples during the mining process for coal, metal, and nonmetal mines
- Educating miners about their rights to report hazardous health conditions and attempts to falsify samples
MSHA has a renewed focus on the dangers of crystalline silica, and they want to stress it to all mine operators. It wants these dangers to be on the mind of every miner for their protection.
MSHA 2022 Educational Opportunities
2022 MSHA certification will bring more awareness to the opportunities for better education. The opportunity for education comes in the form of grants and materials.
Brookwood-Sago Grant Program
The U.S. Department of Labor has funding available for grants up to $1 million through their Brookwood-Sago grant program. These grants are to educate the mining community about unsafe and unhealthy mining conditions.
In 2022, these grants will focus on occupational hazards in areas such as:
- The dangers of exposure to crystalline silica
- Powered haulage and mobile equipment safety
- Emergency rescue and preparedness in mines
- Electrical safety
- Developing improved training for new and inexperienced miners and other staff
- Underground pillar safety
- Fall hazard safety
These grants will also focus on education and training at smaller mines. They will also seek to help the underserved population in the mining industry.
2022 State Grant Funding
MSHA will offer $10.5 million in state grant funding to focus on training and retraining. These grants will seek to educate miners and mine operators working at the surface and underground.
States that have mining operations may apply for the grant. The grant will cover 80% of program costs. The state's requirement is to provide the other 20% of total costs for any educational programs.
This grant is to encourage states to take a proactive role in the education of all mines within their borders. MSHA recognizes that this will have a positive impact on small mines as well as big ones.
Library of Materials
MSHA will also emphasize its vast library of pocket cards to help encourage safety and health. These cards are formatted for printing and carrying by the miners.
Operators can give them out to keep safety as a priority in their workplace. The Best Practice cards focus on the dos and don'ts of safety protection. The Health Hazard cards give information to prevent injury and illness.
MSHA Standards for Powered Haulage Mobile Equipment
MSHA will also implement new rules for powered haulage mobile equipment that were proposed in 2021. These rules will have some specific focuses for the mine operators.
Mine operators that have six or more employees must write their own safety program. They will have the flexibility to make it fit their specific environment, but it must meet all MSHA requirements.
Here are a few examples of the types of rules MSHA would like to see implemented:
- Speed restrictions for machinery used at all locations
- Mobile equipment storage safety when not in use
- Mobile equipment parking safety so it can't move and cause accidents
MSHA also has a guidance document that lays out some of the best practices that mine operators can use. This guidance will help them protect themselves and not have to worry about OSHA vs MSHA regulation problems.
A Healthy Focus on Compliance
Focusing on complying with MSHA regulations is a great way to make sure you are implementing best practices for safety. Your mine can work smarter and smoother when all the proper regulations are followed.
At Compliance Training Online, we keep up with all the latest regulations that apply to your mine. We add the latest information so you stay up to date. Plus, all our training stays current so you don't have to worry about getting fined.
Connect with us and find out why we have the best online training experience possible.
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