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DOL/MSHA Media Adivisory
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Contact: Kathy Snyder
Phone: (202) 693-9422


Released Monday, August 26, 2002


News Release

MSHA Offers Interactive Compliance Training on HazCom


ARLINGTON, Va. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) today announced the availability of interactive training for mine operators on compliance with its recently issued standards on hazard communication.

The hazard communication interactive training program, found on MSHA's web site, provides guidelines for complying with the hazard communication, or HazCom, standard that requires operators to provide information about hazardous chemicals to their workers.

"This interactive training is the first of its kind to be offered by our agency and we feel it will provide useful assistance to mine operators who need to understand the new HazCom standard and its requirements," said Dave D. Lauriski, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "Compliance assistance is key to providing miners with increased protection."

The interactive training program can be found under "HazCom" on MSHA's homepage at www.msha.gov in the "special initiatives" section. The course contains several lessons covering topics related to compliance with the new HazCom standard. The program also contains a template for operators to use in developing their own hazard communication program.

The new HazCom rule is strictly an information and training standard and does not set exposure limits. It requires operators to know what chemicals they have on mine property, to identify those that are hazardous, and to inform miners about their potential exposure and means of protection. To help operators comply with Hazcom, MSHA is also conducting workshops and publishing HazCom training materials that can be used at mine sites.

The new standard becomes effective on Sept. 23, 2002, for mining operations employing more than five miners. It becomes effective on March 21, 2003, for operations employing five or fewer miners.