MSHA will work with mine operators when it comes to the following recertifications:
Exemptions to recertifications will not be granted; however, their due dates will be extended by at least the time the government is operating under the President's emergency declaration.
Please note: This exception does not apply to new miner training. New miners must be trained before beginning work. Once the Emergency Declaration is lifted, mine operators should work with their respective district offices to ensure that all certifications are conducted in a timely manner.
The National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) has learned from MSHA that although the agency will not issue a written policy publicly, they will rely on internal guidance regarding enforcement of annual training and other requirements in light of the Coronavirus.
MSHA will assess Annual Refresher Training on a case-by-case basis and grant a 30-day grace period where miners may be over the 12-month training requirement. This will be reevaluated as the situation continues to develop and may be extended, particularly if the nation remains in a state of emergency. Similar guidance will be implemented regarding audiometric testing and other training requirements. Operators are urged to utilize virtual training options, have a plan to make up training sessions, and keep in touch with NSSGA and/or their the appropriate MSHA office with any questions and concerns.
With respect to inspections, MSHA plans to continue their regular inspections: 2 per year for surface mines and 4 per year for underground. Inspections, and inspector travel, are deemed essential, which is why inspections will continue.
However, the situation we are in is highly fluid and MSHA practices and guidance may change. NSSGA will continue to keep you updated and please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.
MSHA Northeast has indicated that there is a 30-day extension on training. However, as of the morning of March 17th, they are still performing inspections. Indications are that operations are very fluid and changes may occur. Again, if you have a challenge, don’t hesitate to contact Josie Gaskey.
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