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MSHA News Release: [02/07/2006]
Contact: Dirk Fillpot
Phone Number: (202) 693-9406
Release Number: 06-242-NAT


MSHA Pursues New Mine Evacuation Rules
Special Rulemaking Action Used Only Twice Before


WASHINGTON — David G. Dye, acting assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health, today announced that the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is pursuing a rarely-used emergency temporary standard to better protect miners and help them safely evacuate a mine during an emergency. The emergency temporary standard rulemaking process has been used only twice before by MSHA.

"This emergency rulemaking will require the use of proven technologies and techniques to help miners evacuate quickly and safely after a mine accident," Dye said. "We are using the emergency temporary standard to get help into the field as fast as possible. MSHA is moving forward on every front to better protect miners' safety and health."

MSHA's emergency temporary standard would strengthen mine safety practices in four key areas: training, accident notification requirements for mine operators, self-contained self rescue devices (SCSRs) and lifelines. The emergency temporary standard would make the following health and safety enhancements: This is only the third time since 1978 that MSHA has pursued an emergency temporary standard. An emergency temporary standard takes effect immediately upon its publication in the Federal Register. Once MSHA's emergency temporary standard is in final form, a publication date can then be determined. For more information about MSHA, visit www.msha.gov.

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