[Federal Register: January 22, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 14)]
[Rules and Regulations]
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Mine Safety and Health Administration
30 CFR Part 18
RIN 1219-AA98 (Phase 10)
Alternate Locking Devices for Plug and Receptacle-Type Connectors
on Mobile Battery-Powered Machines
AGENCY: Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), Labor.
ACTION: Direct final rule; request for comments.
SUMMARY: MSHA is revising and updating the existing regulation by
allowing the optional use of alternative locking devices for plugs and
receptacles to secure battery plugs to receptacles. The rule eliminates
the need to file petitions for modification to use this alternative
means of securing battery plugs to receptacles.
MSHA is using direct final rulemaking for this action because the
Agency expects that there will be no significant adverse comments on
the rule. Elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, MSHA is
publishing a companion proposed rule under MSHA's usual procedure for
notice and comment rulemaking to provide a procedural framework to
finalize the rule in the event the Agency receives significant adverse
comments and withdraws this direct final rule. The companion proposed
rule and this direct final rule are substantively identical.
DATES: This direct final rule is effective March 10, 2003, unless we
receive significant adverse comments by February 21, 2003. If we
receive such comments, we will publish a timely withdrawal of this
direct final rule and proceed with notice and comment rulemaking.
ADDRESSES: Comments must be clearly identified as such and transmitted
either electronically to zzMSHA-Comments@dol.gov, by facsimile to (202) 693-
9441, or by regular mail or hand delivery to MSHA, Office of Standards,
Regulations, and Variances, 1100 Wilson Blvd., Room 2313, Arlington,
Virginia 22209-3939. You may contact MSHA with any format questions.
Comments are posted for public viewing at http://www.msha.gov/currentcomments.asp.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marvin W. Nichols, Jr., Director;
Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, MSHA; phone: (202)
693-9442; facsimile: (202) 693-9441; E-mail: Nichols-Marvin@dol.gov.
You can view comments filed on this rulemaking at http://www.msha.gov/currentcomments.asp.
I. Direct Final Rules
Concurrent with this direct final rule, we also are publishing a
separate, identical proposed rule in the Proposed Rule section of this
Federal Register. This duplicate proposed rule will speed notice and
comment rulemaking under Sec. 553 of the Administrative Procedure Act
should we have to withdraw this direct final rule. All interested
parties should comment at this time because we will not initiate an
additional comment period.
MSHA has determined that the subject of this rulemaking is suitable
for a direct final rule. The Agency believes the actions taken are
noncontroversial and therefore does not anticipate receiving any
significant adverse comments. If MSHA does not receive significant
adverse comments on or before February 21, 2003, the Agency will
publish a notice in the Federal Register no later than March 10, 2003,
confirming the effective date of the direct final rule.
For purposes of this direct final rulemaking, a significant adverse
comment is one that explains why the rule would be inappropriate,
including challenges to the rule's underlying premise or approach, or
why it would be ineffective or unacceptable without a change. In
determining whether a significant adverse comment necessitates
withdrawal of this direct final rule, MSHA will consider whether the
comment raises an issue serious enough to warrant a substantive
response in a notice and comment process. A comment recommending an
addition to the rule will not be considered a significant adverse
comment unless the comment states why this rule would be ineffective
without the addition. If significant adverse comments are received, the
Agency will publish a notice of significant adverse comments in the
Federal Register withdrawing this direct final rule no later than March
In the event the direct final rule is withdrawn because of
significant adverse comments, the Agency can proceed with the
rulemaking by addressing the comments received and publishing a final
rule. The comment period for the proposed rule runs concurrently with
that of the direct final rule. Any comments received under the
companion proposed rule will be treated as comments regarding the
direct final rule. Likewise, significant adverse comments submitted to
the direct final rule will be considered as comments to the companion
proposed rule. The Agency will consider such comments in developing a
subsequent final rule.
II. Background Information
Currently, under Sec. 18.41 of Title 30, Code of Federal
Regulations, MSHA sets forth design and construction requirements for
plug and receptacle-type connectors used with permissible electric
equipment approved under part 18. These technical requirements were
last revised in March of 1968, which represented the latest advances in
battery connector technology considered appropriate for use on mining
equipment at that time.
Over the past thirty years, there have been technological
improvements to the methods used for securing battery plugs
to receptacles. Since the provisions of existing section 18.41(f) do
not reflect the latest state-of-the-art technology, mine operators file
petitions for modification under Section 101(c) of the Mine Act to take
advantage of the technological advancements. Since 1980, there have
been approximately 300 petitions filed and granted under Section 101(c)
requesting modification to 30 CFR 75.503 (Permissible electric face
equipment; maintenance) and 18.41(f) (Plug and receptacle-type
connectors) to allow the use of alternate locking devices. The means of
securing battery connectors permitted under this direct final rule
allows for the use of padlocks and other equally effective mechanical
devices that preclude the inadvertent separation of the battery plug
from the receptacle.
In some operations, mine operators encountered difficulties with
padlocks in both normal and emergency situations. The use of padlocks
requires the maintenance of keys by authorized personnel. Due to the
nature of mining operations, padlocks may be filled with mining debris,
rendering them difficult or impossible to open with a key. Padlock keys
can be misplaced, broken, or bent and may become unusable. This can go
unnoticed by the operator until an emergency occurs, when the key may
be unavailable or unusable. The removal of a padlock to permit the
disconnection of a battery plug in an emergency situation, such as a
battery fire, requires a longer period of time and greater effort than
the removal of any of the other locking devices permitted in this
direct final rule. However, where keys are accessible and padlocks are
relatively free from accumulation of dust, padlocks have proven to be
In 1987, to address the problems encountered with the use of
padlocks, MSHA issued a policy allowing use of an alternative to
padlocks. This policy permits the use of a device that is captive and
requires a special tool to disengage and allow separation of the
connector. A device is captive when a mechanical connection is made
permanent by a locking device that is confined in its mounting location
in a manner where, once installed, it cannot be inadvertently removed.
The mechanical connection can only be made non-permanent by direct and
intervening action using a special tool. A special tool is one that is
not normally carried by miners and is used to ensure that constant
pressure is maintained to prevent inadvertent separation of the plug
from the receptacle.
Since 1980, mine operators have also been granted permission,
through the petition for modification process, to use a spring-loaded
locking device. MSHA determined that spring-loaded locking devices
provide at least the same measure of protection as padlocks and captive
locking devices. These devices maintain constant pressure on the
threaded ring or equivalent mechanical fastening to prevent the plug
from accidentally disengaging from the receptacle.
For both alternate locking devices, the captive locking device and
the spring loaded locking device, a warning tag is also required to
alert the user that the connector must not be disengaged under load.
Withdrawal of a battery plug from the receptacle while the machine is
energized (i.e., under load) can create incendive arcing and sparking
that could result in a personal injury, explosion, or fire. The
requirement for the warning tag, along with part 48 new task training
requirements, provide for appropriate hazard recognition when using
alternative locking devices. MSHA is unaware of any adverse incidents
involving alternate locking devices.
By issuing this direct final rule, MSHA is responding to the
requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act and Executive Order
12866 that agencies review their regulations to determine their
effectiveness and to implement any changes indicated by the review that
will make the regulation more flexible and efficient for stakeholders
and small businesses while maintaining needed protections for workers.
This rule maintains the protection afforded by the existing standard.
III. Discussion of Alternative Locking Devices on Mobile Battery-
A. Paragraph 18.41
Section 18.41 addresses connectors used on battery and non battery-
powered machines. Section 18.41(f) specifies requirements for plug and
receptacle-type connectors used on mobile battery-powered machines
employed in underground gassy mines. This direct final rule modifies
paragraph (f) of 30 CFR 18.41 by adding two new provisions allowing the
use of devices that provide at least the same measure of protection as
that afforded by the existing standards. The Agency recognizes that
battery-powered machine designs differ from conventional machine
designs employing trailing cables. The energy to battery-powered
equipment is carried on-board the machine with rechargeable battery
assemblies, rather than being transmitted via a trailing cable from a
section power center. Because of the inherent design limitations of
battery-powered machines, there is no practical way to automatically
remove all electrical power from battery-powered machines. Machines
powered by trailing cables have circuit-interrupting devices that can
be used to de-energize them, whereas most battery-powered machines rely
on a plug and receptacle for de-energization. The proper procedure for
removing power from a battery-powered machine is to first open the main
machine disconnect device and then to disengage the plug from the
receptacle. This effectively isolates the battery power from the
B. Subparagraph 18.41(f)(1)
Subparagraph 30 CFR 18.41(f)(1) retains the existing provision that
a plug padlocked to the receptacle will be acceptable in lieu of an
interlock provided the plug is held in place by a threaded ring or
equivalent mechanical fastening in addition to the padlock. This
paragraph also retains the provision that a connector within a
padlocked enclosure will be acceptable.
A padlock used on a battery plug and receptacle-type connector
serves a dual purpose. It secures the threaded ring or equivalent
mechanical fastening in place. A padlock is also used as a means to
prevent the removal of the plug from the receptacle by unauthorized
personnel. In this respect, only those persons having keys are
considered authorized to remove the plug from the receptacle.
C. Subparagraph 18.41(f)(2)
Subparagraph 30 CFR 18.41(f)(2) is a new provision which provides
for an alternate method for securing the battery plug to the
receptacle. The rule provides that a plug which is held in place by a
threaded ring or equivalent mechanical fastening will be acceptable
provided that the threaded ring is secured in place with a device that
is captive. It also requires a special tool to disengage the device and
allow for the separation of the connector. It further requires a
warning tag that states: ``DO NOT DISENGAGE UNDER LOAD.''
D. Subparagraph 18.41(f)(3)
Subparagraph 30 CFR 18.41(f)(3) is a new provision which provides
for another alternate method for securing the battery plug to the
receptacle. The rule states that a plug held in place by a spring-
loaded or other locking device that maintains constant pressure against
a threaded ring or equivalent mechanical fastening will be acceptable
provided that it secures the plug from accidental separation. It
a warning tag that states: ``DO NOT DISENGAGE UNDER LOAD.''
This subparagraph allows for the use of other locking devices that
may become available in the future. The Agency has included this
language to allow for acceptance of equally effective devices. Devices
not explicitly defined in this rulemaking must be equally effective and
provide at least the same measure of protection as those incorporated
under this section.
Neither of the alternatives in subparagraphs 18.41(f)(2) or (f)(3)
imposes additional requirements to the 1987 MSHA policy or the granted
petitions for modification.
IV. Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review and
Regulatory Flexibility Act)
MSHA is issuing a direct final rule amending 30 CFR 18.41(f),
concerning plug and receptacle-type connectors for mobile battery-
powered equipment. This direct final rule revises and updates the
existing regulation by allowing the use of alternate locking devices to
secure battery plugs to receptacles. Two alternate locking devices are
addressed in this direct final rule.
(1) Captive locking devices requiring use of a special tool. These
devices have been accepted since 1987 under an MSHA policy allowing
(2) Spring loaded or other locking devices. Spring-loaded locking
devices have been accepted by MSHA under the 101(c) Petition for
The direct final rule eliminates the need to file petitions for
modification (PFM) to use spring-loaded locking devices to secure
battery plugs to receptacles. It also codifies the 1987 MSHA policy of
allowing acceptance of captive locking devices.
Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 requires that regulatory agencies
assess both the costs and benefits of intended regulations. MSHA has
fulfilled this requirement for the direct final rule, and based upon
its economic analysis, has determined that the direct final rule will
not have an annual effect of $100 million or more on the economy.
Therefore, it is not an economically significant regulatory action
pursuant to Sec. 3(f)(1) of E.O. 12866.
The direct final rule will eliminate the need for mine operators of
underground gassy mines, who choose to use plug and receptacle-type
connectors for mobile battery-powered equipment, to file PFMs, and
thereby generate cost savings.
From 1999 to 2001, 66 petitions were filed and granted to modify
the application of 30 CFR 75.503 (permissible electric face equipment;
maintenance) and 30 CFR 18.41(f) (plug and receptacle-type connectors).
Through November 20, 2002, 23 petitions have been filed, for a total of
89 petitions filed from 1999 to 2002. On average, 22 petitions were
filed during each of the past 4 years.
Mining Sectors Affected
This direct final rule applies to all underground gassy mines. All
underground coal mines are considered gassy mines and are affected by
this rule. Gassy metal and nonmetal (M/NM) mines can also be affected
by this direct final rule. Currently there are no battery-powered
machines of the type covered by this rule in any of the gassy M/NM
mines. Since these devices have not been used in M/NM mines, for
purposes of this economic analysis, MSHA assumes that M/NM mines will
not be affected by this rule. MSHA estimates that, on average, 22
underground coal mines per year will be affected by this rule.
MSHA has qualitatively determined that the direct final rule, which
permits use of alternate locking devices on mobile battery-powered
equipment instead of using padlocks, will yield safety benefits
relative to the existing rule, which does not permit use of alternate
locking devices on mobile battery-powered equipment. The use of
alternate locking devices in lieu of padlocks on mobile battery-powered
equipment eliminates the problems associated with difficult removal of
Cost savings from the direct final rule will accrue to underground
coal mines that choose to use spring-loaded locking devices on mobile
battery-powered equipment since they will no longer have to file a PFM.
Cost savings from this rule are estimated at $9,747 per year. The cost
savings are based upon the elimination of the filing of an average of
22 petitions per year. It is projected that of the 22 mines, 19 would
employ 20 to 500 workers, and 3 would employ fewer than 20 workers. For
3 mines that employ fewer than 20 workers these cost savings will be
$1,329. For the remaining 19 mines that employ 20 to 500 workers the
cost savings will be $8,418.
Mines Employing Fewer Than 20 Workers
The cost savings of $1,329 for mines employing fewer than 20
workers are derived in the following manner. On average, a mine
supervisor, earning $54.92 per hour, takes 8 hours to prepare a
petition (3 petitions x 8 hours x $54.92 per hour = $1,318). In
addition, a clerical worker, earning $19.58 per hour, takes 0.1 hours
to copy and mail a petition (3 petitions x 0.1 hours x $19.58 per hour
= $6). Furthermore, MSHA estimates that, on average, each petition is 5
pages long, photocopying costs are $0.15 per page, and postage is $1 [3
petitions x ((5 pages x $0.15 per page) + $1) = $5].
Mines Employing 20 to 500 Workers
The cost savings of $8,418 for mines that employ 20 to 500 workers
are derived in the following manner. On average, a mine supervisor,
earning $54.92 per hour, takes 8 hours to prepare a petition (19
petitions x 8 hours x $54.92 per hour = $8,348). In addition, a
clerical worker, earning $19.58 per hour, takes 0.1 hours to copy and
mail a petition (19 petitions x 0.1 hours x $19.58 per hour = $37).
Furthermore, MSHA estimates that, on average, each petition is 5 pages
long, photocopying costs are $0.15 per page, and postage is $1 [19
petitions x ((5 pages x $0.15 per page) + $1) = $33].
There are no substantive changes in the direct final rule that
apply to any mine that chooses not to use alternate locking devices on
mobile battery-powered equipment. Thus, these mines would not incur
costs nor generate cost savings as a result of the direct final rule.
Accordingly, we are publishing the factual basis for our regulatory
flexibility certification statement in the Federal Register, as a part
of this preamble, and are providing a copy to the Small Business
Administration, Office of Advocacy. We also will mail a copy of the
direct final rule, including the preamble and certification statement,
to mine operators and miners' representatives and post it on our
Internet Home page at http://www.msha.gov.
V. Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification
Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) of 1980 as amended
by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA),
MSHA has analyzed the impact of the direct final rule on small
businesses. Further, MSHA has made a determination with respect to
whether or not the Agency can certify that the direct final rule will
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small
entities that are covered by these rulemakings. Under the SBREFA
amendments to the RFA, MSHA must include in the rule a
factual basis for this certification. If the direct final rule has a
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities,
then the Agency must develop a regulatory flexibility analysis.
Definition of a Small Mine
Under the RFA, in analyzing the impact of a rule on small entities,
MSHA must use the SBA definition for a small entity or, after
consultation with the SBA Office of Advocacy, establish an alternative
definition for the mining industry by publishing that definition in the
Federal Register for notice and comment. MSHA has not taken such an
action, and hence is required to use the SBA definition.
The SBA defines a small entity in the mining industry as an
establishment with 500 or fewer employees (13 CFR 121.201). All of the
mines affected by this rulemaking fall into this category and hence can
be viewed as sharing the special regulatory concerns which the RFA was
designed to address.
Traditionally, the Agency has also looked at the impacts of its
rules on a subset of mines with 500 or fewer employees--those with
fewer than 20 employees, which the mining community refers to as
``small mines.'' These small mines differ from larger mines not only in
the number of employees, but also, among other things, in economies of
scale in material produced, in the type and amount of production
equipment, and in supply inventory. Therefore, their costs of complying
with MSHA rules and the impact of MSHA rules on them would also tend to
be different. It is for this reason that ``small mines,'' as
traditionally defined by the mining community, are of special concern
This analysis complies with the legal requirements of the RFA for
an analysis of the impacts on ``small entities'' while continuing
MSHA's traditional look at ``small mines.'' MSHA concludes that it can
certify that the direct final rule will not have a significant economic
impact on a substantial number of small entities that are covered by
this rulemaking. The Agency has determined that this is the case both
for mines affected by this rulemaking with fewer than 20 employees and
for mines affected by this rulemaking with 500 or fewer employees.
Factual Basis for Certification
The Agency's analysis of impacts on ``small entities'' begins with
a ``screening'' analysis. The screening compares the estimated
compliance costs of a rule for small entities in the sector affected by
the rule to the estimated revenues for those small entities. When
estimated compliance costs are less than one percent of the estimated
revenues, or they are negative (that is, they provide a cost savings),
the Agency believes it is generally appropriate to conclude that there
is no significant economic impact on a substantial number of small
entities. When estimated compliance costs exceed one percent of
revenues, it tends to indicate that further analysis may be warranted.
Using either MSHA's or SBA's definition of a small mine, the direct
final rule results only in cost savings to affected mines. Therefore,
this direct final rule does not have a significant economic impact on a
substantial number of small entities using either MSHA's or SBA's
definition of a small mine.
V. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995
The amendments to 30 CFR 18.41(f) do not introduce any new
paperwork requirements that are subject to OMB approval under the
Paperwork Reduction Act. In addition, the third-party disclosure
requirements proposed for 30 CFR 18.41(f)(2) and (3) are not considered
a ``collection of information'' because the standard provides the exact
language for warning tags [see 5 CFR 1320.3(c)(2)].
As a result of this direct final rule, the number of petitions for
modification filed annually related to battery plugs will be reduced.
Therefore, this will result in reducing burden hours and costs in the
ICR 1219-0065 paperwork package, which concerns the filing of petitions
This direct final rule will result in 178.2 burden hour savings
annually and associated annual burden cost savings of $9,709 related to
the elimination of 22 petitions annually for alternate locking devices
to secure battery plugs to receptacles. Of this total, for the 3 mines
that employ fewer than 20 workers, there will be 24.3 burden hours
savings annually and associated annual burden cost savings of $1,324.
For the 19 mines that employ 20 to 500 workers, there will be 153.9
burden hours savings annually and associated annual burden cost savings
Mines Employing Fewer Than 20 Workers
The annual reduction of 24.3 burden hours and the $1,324 cost
savings for the 3 mines that employ fewer than 20 workers are derived
in the following manner. On average, a mine supervisor takes 8 hours to
prepare a petition (3 petitions x 8 hours = 24 hours). In addition, on
average, a clerical worker takes 0.1 hours, 6 minutes, to copy and mail
a petition (3 petitions x 0.1 hours = 0.3 hours). The hourly wage rate
for a mine supervisor is $54.92 ($54.92 x 24 burden hours = $1,318.10).
The hourly wage rate for a clerical worker is $19.58 ($19.58 x 0.3
burden hours = $5.90).
Mines Employing 20 to 500 Workers
The annual reduction of 153.9 burden hours and the $8,385 cost
savings for the 19 mines that employ 20 to 500 workers are derived in
the following manner. On average, a mine supervisor takes 8 hours to
prepare a petition (19 petitions x 8 hours = 152 hours). In addition,
on average, a clerical worker takes 0.1 hours, 6 minutes, to copy and
mail a petition (19 petitions x 0.1 hours = 1.9 hours). The hourly wage
rate for a mine supervisor is $54.92 ($54.92 x 152 burden hours =
$8,347.84). The hourly wage rate for a clerical worker is $19.58
($19.58 x 1.9 burden hours = $37.20).
The amendment to 30 CFR 18.41(f) eliminates a need for mine
operators to file petitions for modification. Resulting from the
decreased number of petitions, MSHA will not conduct investigations
related to the determination the merits of the petition. The paperwork
containing the information necessary to permit investigation of the
petition for modification will not be needed. The petition for
modification paperwork requirements are contained in 30 CFR 44.9, 44.10
and 44.11. They are approved under OMB control number 1219-0065. We are
not amending Sec. Sec. 44.9, 44.10, or 44.11. We are only amending a
regulation that is frequently petitioned. Consequently, MSHA will not
submit a paperwork package with this direct final rule. Although it is
not necessary to update the Information Collection Requirement document
at this time, we will submit the necessary paperwork to record the
decrease in burden when appropriate. Our estimate of the number of
petitions submitted each year will be reduced by the average number of
petitions for modification currently submitted to modify the current
VI. Other Regulatory Considerations
A. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 and Executive Order 12875
(Enhancing the Intergovernmental Partnership)
For purposes of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, as well as E.O. 12875, this direct final rule does not include any Federal
mandate that may result in increased expenditures by State, local, and
tribal governments, or increased expenditures by the private
sector of more than $100 million. MSHA is not aware of any State,
local, or tribal government that either owns or operates underground
B. Executive Order 12630 (Governmental Actions and Interference With
Constitutionally Protected Property Rights)
This direct final rule is not subject to Executive Order 12630
because it does not involve implementation of a policy with takings
C. Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)
MSHA has reviewed Executive Order 12988 and determined that this direct final rule will not unduly burden the Federal court system. The
Agency wrote the direct final rule to provide a clear legal standard
for affected conduct and has reviewed it carefully to eliminate
drafting errors and ambiguities.
D. Executive Order 13045 (Health and Safety Effect on Children)
In accordance with Executive Order 13045, MSHA has evaluated the environmental health and safety effects of this direct final rule on
children and has determined that it will have no adverse effects on
E. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)
MSHA has reviewed this direct final rule in accordance with
Executive Order 13132 regarding federalism and has determined that it
does not have federalism implications.
F. Executive Order 13175 (Consultation and Coordination With Indian
MSHA certifies that the direct final rule does not impose
substantial direct compliance costs on Indian tribal governments.
G. Executive Order 13211 (Actions Concerning Regulations That
Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use)
In accordance with Executive Order 13211, MSHA has reviewed this direct final rule and has determined that it has no adverse effect on
the production or price of coal. Consequently, it has no significant
adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy, and no
reasonable alternatives to this action are necessary.
H. Executive Order 13272 (Proper Consideration of Small Entities in
In accordance with Executive Order 13272, MSHA has thoroughly
reviewed the direct final rule to assess and take appropriate account
of its potential impact on small businesses, small governmental
jurisdictions, and small organizations. As discussed in section V in
this preamble, MSHA has determined that this direct final rule will not
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small
VII. Petitions for Modification
On the effective date of this direct final rule, all existing
petitions for modification for alternate locking devices for plug and
receptacle-type connectors on mobile battery-powered machines will be
superseded. Mine operators who have a previously granted petition
modifying 30 CFR 75.503 and 18.41(f) will thereafter be considered in
compliance with this rule, as long as the equipment is maintained in
compliance with the specifications stated in the original petition for
modification. All battery-powered equipment approved with locking
devices prior to the effective date of this rule will be considered
compliant, as long as the equipment is maintained in accordance with
the originally approved specifications.
List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 18
Mine safety and health, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Underground mining.
Dated: January 13, 2003.
Dave D. Lauriski,
Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health.
For the reasons set out in the preamble, and under the authority of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, we are amending chapter
I, subpart B, part 18 of title 30 of the Code of Federal Regulations as
PART 18--ELECTRIC MOTOR-DRIVEN MINE EQUIPMENT AND ACCESSORIES
1. The authority citation for part 18 continues to read as follows:
Authority: 30 U.S.C. 957, 961.
2. Paragraph (f) of Sec. 18.41 is revised to read as follows:
Sec. 18.41 Plug and receptacle-type connectors.
* * * * *
(f) For a mobile battery-powered machine, a plug and receptacle-type connector will be acceptable in lieu of an interlock provided:
(1) The plug is padlocked to the receptacle and is held in place by a threaded ring or equivalent mechanical fastening in addition to a
padlock. A connector within a padlocked enclosure will be acceptable;
(2) The plug is held in place by a threaded ring or equivalent
mechanical fastening, in addition to the use of a device that is captive and requires a special tool to disengage and allow for the separation of the connector. All connectors using this means of
compliance shall have a clearly visible warning tag that states: ``DO NOT DISENGAGE UNDER LOAD''; or,
(3) The plug is held in place by a spring-loaded or other locking device, that maintains constant pressure against a threaded ring or equivalent mechanical fastening, to secure the plug from accidental separation. All connectors using this means of compliance shall have a clearly visible warning tag that states: ``DO NOT DISENGAGE UNDER
[FR Doc. 03-1305 Filed 1-21-03; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-43-P