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Archive for April, 2012

MSHA Opens Meeting…

Posted by Ellen Smith on April 13, 2012

After sending notes of protest, MSHA did open the “stakeholder” meeting this morning to the press on clarifications the agency wishes to make on fall protection for metal/metal mines.

We were not informed of the meeting ahead of time, as promised in the past, but found out about it a day in advance through a subscriber.

In attendance at the meeting were the major mining associations. While we appreciate MSHA’s openness with the associations, “stakeholders” include those not affiliated with the Washington insiders, including the credentialed press who wish to attend, and we will continue to hold the agency’s proverbial “feet to the fire” on this issue of openness.

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MSHA to Hold CLOSED Stakeholders Meeting

Posted by Ellen Smith on April 11, 2012

Tomorrow morning, 9 a.m. at MSHA headquarters in Arlington, Va., there is planned a closed “stakeholders meeting.” Yes closed. Invitation only. Your government at work. We oppose closed meetings. The alleged reasoning is always that there cannot be an open dialog with the press in attendence. Huh? Doesn’t seem to affect the comments and roundtable discussions at joint MSHA/industry conferences — especially the one I just attended in Austin, Texas.

We cannot have closed government. We cannot have deals, wheeling and dealing with the winks and nods that go along with these closed door meetings.

Joe Main: Open these meetings. Forbid closed stakeholder meetings, and bring the sunshine back to MSHA that we once knew before 2001.

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Vol. 19, No. 7

Posted by Ellen Smith on April 2, 2012

  • Accidents:
    • Contractor shocked during preparation for shaft sinking at Pennsylvania mine (202)
    • Track hoe overturns at Alabama mine (203)
  • Black Lung:
    • Widow entitled to lifetime benefits (203)
    • Pre-1981 benefits rules reintroduced as bart of health care legislation (204)
  • Congressional Hearings: House panel mulls system failures in UBB disaster (205)
  • Criminal Proceedings:
    • UBB superintendent pleads guilty to conspiracy; others may follow (211)
    • Man charged with falsely claiming he was an MSHA-approved instructor (214)
    • Nine-count indictment filed against Kentucky miner who alleged he was a certified foreman (214)
  • Discrimination: EEOC settles racial discrimination lawsuit with Alabama ready-mix company (214)
  • Examinations:
    • Oak Grove hit with $70,000 penalty for failing to conduct weekly inspection (215)
    • MSHA finalizes examination rule for underground coal mines with Aug. 6th compliance deadline (216)
  • Fatalities:
    • Alabama miner gets fatal shock during work on shuttle car (217)
    • Foreman killed in Ohio surface accident identified (218)
    • MSHA issues preliminary report on gemstone mine fatality (218)
    • Collision with rib was fatal due to protruding rib support at Stillwater platinum mine (218)
    • Interrupted fall protection was fatal to contract ironworker at West Elk Mine (220)
  • Inspections: Advanced notice of MSHA inspections still a problem, despite publicity (222)
  • Legislation: West Virginia passes legislation with provisions exceeding federal regulations (222)
  • On the Move: Wagner back at NIOSH leaving vacancy at MSHA (227)
  • Pattern of Violations: Attorney calls POV a “death sentence” for mines; raises due process issues (227)
  • Private Suits:
    • Miner’s negligence case against Massey and contractor stays in state court (230)
    • Family of missing blasting contractor has filed suit against Mid-Coast Aggregates (231)
    • Judge denies Massey Energy Co., and directors’ motion to dismiss securities fraud lawsuit (232)
  • Water Quality: EPA exceeded authority when it changed permit conditions (233)
  • Review Commission, ALJ Decisions & Settlements (236)

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