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MSHA issues stronger mine safety COVID-19 guidance

Guidance intended for miners and operators in coal, metal, or nonmetal mines

Posted March 12, 2021

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has issued stronger worker safety guidance to help mine operators and workers implement a COVID-19 protection program and better identify risks that could lead to exposure.

Protecting Miners: MSHA Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 provides updated guidance and recommendations, and outlines existing safety and health standards.

Specifically, the guidance recommends:

  • Conducting a hazard assessment of the mine site;
  • Identifying control measures to limit the spread of the virus;
  • Adopting measures to ensure that miners who are infected or potentially infected are separated and sent home;
  • Ensuring communication of COVID-19 policies and procedures to English and non-English speaking workers; and
  • Implementing protections from retaliation for miners who raise COVID-19-related concerns.

MSHA says it will continue to update its guidance over time to reflect developments in science, best practices, and standards.

This article was written by Rachel Krubsack of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

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