MSHA published a final rule that enhances the quality of working place examinations in MNM mines on January 23, 2017. On October 5, 2017, MSHA published a final rule that stays the effective date of the January 2017 rule until June 2, 2018. This stay will offer additional time for MSHA to provide stakeholders training and compliance assistance. The October 5, 2017 final rule also reinstates as 30 CFR 56.18002T and 57.18002T the provisions of the working place examination standards that were in effect as of October 1, 2017; this reinstatement is effective until June 2, 2018.
On September 12, 2017, MSHA published a proposed rule that would amend the Agency’s final rule on examinations of working places in metal and nonmetal mines that was published in January 2017. The proposed changes would require that an examination of the working place be conducted before work begins or as miners begin work in that place, and that the examination record include descriptions of adverse conditions that are not corrected promptly and the dates of corrective action for these conditions. The proposed rule would provide mine operators additional flexibility in managing their safety and health programs and reduce regulatory burdens without reducing the protections afforded miners. The comment period closed on November 13, 2017.