Examination of Working Places
30 CFR §56/57.18002 Examination of working places
(a) A competent person designated by the operator shall examine each working place at least once each shift for conditions which may adversely affect safety or health. The operator shall promptly initiate appropriate action to correct such conditions.
(b) A record that such examinations were conducted shall be kept by the operator for a period of one year, and shall be made available for review by the Secretary or his authorized representative.
(c) In addition, conditions that may present an imminent danger which are noted by the person conducting the examination shall be brought to the immediate attention of the operator who shall withdraw all persons from the area affected (except persons referred to in section 104(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977) until the danger is abated.
MSHA policy can be found here: 56/57.18002
This standard requires that each working place be examined for hazardous safety and health conditions once each working shift. It also require that mine operators promptly take action to correct any hazardous conditions found as a result of such examination. A record of the examinations must be kept for one year and an immediate withdrawal of all persons in the affected area is required if an imminent danger is found.
30 CFR § 75.360 Preshift examination
(a)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, a certified person designated by the operator must make a preshift examination within 3 hours preceding the beginning of any 8-hour interval during which any person is scheduled to work or travel underground. No person other than certified examiners may enter or remain in any underground area unless a preshift examination has been completed for the established 8-hour interval. The operator must establish 8-hour intervals of time subject to the required preshift examinations. (2) Preshift examinations of areas where pumpers are scheduled to work or travel shall not be required prior to the pumper entering the areas if the pumper is a certified person and the pumper conducts an examination for hazardous conditions, tests for methane and oxygen deficiency and determines if the air is moving in its proper direction in the area where the pumper works or travels. The examination of the area must be completed before the pumper performs any other work. A record of all hazardous conditions found by the pumper shall be made and retained in accordance with §75.363.
(b) The person conducting the preshift examination shall examine for hazardous conditions, test for methane and oxygen deficiency, and determine if the air is moving in its proper direction at the following locations:
(1) Roadways, travelways and track haulageways where persons are scheduled, prior to the beginning of the preshift examination, to work or travel during the oncoming shift.
(3) Working sections and areas where mechanized mining equipment is being installed or removed, if anyone is scheduled to work on the section or in the area during the oncoming shift. The scope of the examination shall include the working places, approaches to worked-out areas and ventilation controls on these sections and in these areas, and the examination shall include tests of the roof, face and rib conditions on these sections and in these areas.
(8) High spots along intake air courses where methane is likely to accumulate, if equipment will be operated in the area during the shift.
(9) Underground electrical installations referred to in §75.340(a), except those pumps listed in §75.340(b)(2) through (b)(6), and areas where compressors subject to §75.344 are installed if the electrical installation or compressor is or will be energized during the shift.
(10) Other areas where work or travel during the oncoming shift is scheduled prior to the beginning of the preshift examination.
(c) The person conducting the preshift examination shall determine the volume of air entering each of the following areas if anyone is scheduled to work in the areas during the oncoming shift:
(i) If a single split of air is used, in the intake entry furthest from the return air course, immediately outby the first open crosscut outby the line of pillars being mined; or
MSHA policy can be found here: 75.360.
30 CFR § 75.361 Supplemental
(b) Certification. At each working place examined, the person making the supplemental examination shall certify by initials, date, and the time, that the examination was made. In areas required to be examined outby a working section, the certified person shall certify by initials, date, and the time at enough locations to show that the entire area has been examined.
There is no MSHA policy for this standard.
30 CFR § 75.362 On-shift
(1) At least once during each shift, or more often if necessary for safety, a certified person designated by the operator shall conduct an on-shift examination of each section where anyone is assigned to work during the shift and any area where mechanized mining equipment is being installed or removed during the shift. The certified person shall check for hazardous conditions, test for methane and oxygen deficiency, and determine if the air is moving in its proper direction.
(2) A person designated by the operator shall conduct an examination to assure compliance with the respirable dust control parameters specified in the mine ventilation plan. In those instances when a shift change is accomplished without an interruption in production on a section, the examination shall be made anytime within 1 hour of the shift change. In those instances when there is an interruption in production during the shift change, the examination shall be made before production begins on a section. Deficiencies in dust controls shall be corrected before production begins or resumes. The examination shall include air quantities and velocities, water pressures and flow rates, excessive leakage in the water delivery system, water spray numbers and orientations, section ventilation and control device placement, and any other dust suppression measures required by the ventilation plan. Measurements of the air velocity and quantity, water pressure and flow rates are not required if continuous monitoring of these controls is used and indicates that the dust controls are functioning properly.
(i) Where a single split of air is used in the intake entry furthest from the return air course immediately outby the first open crosscut outby the line of pillars being mined; or (ii) Where a split system is used in the intake entries of each split immediately inby the split point.
(1) A qualified person shall make tests for methane--
(i) At the start of each shift at each working place before electrically operated equipment is energized; and
(2) These methane tests shall be made at the face from under permanent roof support, using extendable probes or other acceptable means. When longwall or shortwall mining systems are used, these methane tests shall be made at the shearer, the plow, or the cutting head. When mining has been stopped for more than 20 minutes, methane tests shall be conducted prior to the start up of equipment.
(1) The person conducting the on-shift examination in belt haulage entries shall certify by initials, date, and time that the examination was made. The certified person shall certify by initials, date, and the time at enough locations to show that the entire area has been examined.
There is no MSHA Policy for this standard.
These standards require that certain examinations be conducted. They also specify which items are to be inspected, the frequency of those inspections, and what records are to be maintained.
Other relevant MSHA standards:
75.363 Hazardous conditions; posting, correcting and recording
75.364 Weekly examination
Issues to Consider in Determining Compliance:
• Are examinations being made of each working place every work shift?
» Is the examination adequate?
• If hazardous conditions are found, does the mine operator promptly take action to correct the conditions?
• If an imminent danger is found, are affected persons withdrawn?
• Are records of examinations made and maintained for one year?