Roll-Out Meetings Announced for New MSHA Regs

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has scheduled 15 national informational meetings in July and August to help the mining industry comply with the new Hazard Communication (HazCom) rule. The standard becomes effective on Sept. 23 for mines with more than five miners and March 21, 2003 for mines with five or fewer employees.

"Compliance assistance is an integral part of our plan to get to the next level of safety and health performance in the mining industry," said Dave D. Lauriski, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "With the introduction of this new regulation to the industry, MSHA is committed to providing compliance assistance to every mine operator who requests it."

MSHA's HazCom standard requires mine operators to assess the hazards of chemicals on mine property and provide miners with information and training on these hazards.

In addition to the meetings, MSHA is offering a detailed, readable guide to understanding HazCom; PowerPoint presentations; and compliance assistance training during every mine's first inspection following publication of the final rule. A self-paced, interactive guide that will explain all sections of the regulation will be available soon on MSHA's Web site at www.msha.gov.

Each informational meeting will cover the content of the HazCom regulation and its enforcement policies. In addition, compliance and training specialists will assist mine operators in designing and tailoring a HazCom program that is specifically geared to their operation. For the meeting schedule, go to www.msha.gov/Events/Hazcomrollout.pdf

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