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DOL News Release - 05-2389-NAT
U.S. Department of Labor
Contact: Suzy Bohnert    Dirk Fillpot
Phone: (202) 693-9420    (202) 693-4676


Released Friday, December 30, 2005

MSHA Publishes Final Rules for Shaft, Slope Construction Workers and Diesel-Powered Electrical Generators

ARLINGTON, Va -The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) today published a final rule in the Federal Register requiring safety and health training for shaft and slope construction workers at mines nationwide. In another final rule published today, MSHA will allow the use of low- and medium-voltage diesel-powered electrical generators as an alternative means of powering electrical equipment in underground coal mines.

MSHA's review of mine accident and fatality records from 1982 through 2003 showed that miners performing shaft and slope construction work were exposed to the same types of hazards as other underground and surface miners. This final rule removes the training exclusion for shaft and slope construction workers who, in the future, will receive the same type of safety and health training afforded other miners under Title 30, Part 48 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Shaft and slope construction workers will now receive training for new miners, training for experienced miners, task training, annual refresher training and hazard training.

Additionally, a final rule today updates MSHA's electrical safety standards to allow using low- and medium-voltage diesel-powered electrical generators as an alternative for powering electrical equipment in underground coal mines. The final rule eliminates the need for mine operators to file petitions for modification to use these portable generators to power electrical equipment.

MSHA's primary mission as a federal agency is to ensure worker safety and health in the nation's mines.

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NOTE: The full text of MSHA's final rules can be accessed on MSHA's Web site by clicking on the following links