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MSHA News Release No. 98-0310
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Contact: Rodney Brown
Phone: (703) 235-1452

Tuesday, March 10, 1998

More Mine Operators Using Internet to Comply With MSHA Reporting Requirements

Hundreds of mine operators nationwide have taken advantage of the new electronic filing process for reporting required information to the Labor Department's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).

Two months ago, MSHA announced that the agency had set up a new service which gives mine operators and independent contractors the option to electronically file employment and coal production information with MSHA over the World Wide Web. Federal mining regulations require mine operators and their contractors to submit specific information to MSHA on a quarterly basis, using designated forms provided by the agency.

As of January, the MSHA form 7000-2, may be completed and submitted electronically to MSHA directly over the internet using MSHA's homepage at http://www.msha.gov under "Forms." Computer users may also access the proper forms through the Department of Labor's homepage at http://www.dol.gov under "elaws." Users are prompted to follow instructions provided on the screen.

"We are quite pleased with the response so far from mine operators," said Davitt McAteer, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "However, we want to see many more mine operators take advantage of the system. Electronic filing is efficient and it removes much of the red tape in complying with our rules."

Since the service was launched earlier this year, nearly 300 mine operators have taken advantage of the system to report required information on employment and production at their mine sites. The system guides mine operators and contractors through the reporting process, taking into consideration the type of mining operation reporting. The system allows users to print a copy of the completed form for company files. This copy will document compliance on the part of participating mine operators with MSHA reporting requirements. Companies filing electronically will also receive electronic mail (e-mail) confirmation that the required information has been received by MSHA.

Currently, the system is designed for initial filings of required information only. Amended filings that correct information previously filed must continue to be mailed to OIEI, PO Box 25367, Denver, Colo., or telefaxed to (888) 231-5515. As in the past, initial filings may also be filed through the mail or by telefax.

Use of electronic filing is part of the Labor Department's E-laws project which provides employment laws assistance for workers and small businesses.

MSHA will continue development of electronic filing systems and will develop a similar system for submission of the Mine Accident, Injury, and Illness Report (MSHA Form 7000-1) later this year. In addition, a system for electronic submission of training plans is also under development. MSHA welcomes any comments or suggestions to enhance these systems as they are being developed. For further information on electronic filing of required MSHA data, contact Jay Mattos at MSHA in Arlington, Va., on 703-235-8378 or through e-mail to Mattos.Jay@dol.gov.

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