statutory rights of miners n.
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  2. Section 2 of the Findings and Purpose of the Mine Act contained the following Declarations from Congress:

  3. The first priority and concern of all in the coal or other mining industry must be the health and safety of its most precious resource – the miner • Deaths and serious injuries from unsafe and unhealthful conditions and practices in the coal or other mines cause grief and suffering to the miners and to their families

  4. Timeline for Legislation On Mining Industry • 1910 - Congress established the Bureau of Mines • 1947 – Congress authorized the formulation of the first code of federal regulations for mine safety • 1969 – The Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act referred to as the Coal Act included surface coal mines within its scope • 1973 – Secretary of the Interior created the Mining Enforcement and Safety Administration (MESA) and assumed the safety and health enforcement functions from the Bureau of Mines • 1977 – Federal Mine Safety and Health Act (Mine Act) was passed

  5. The Mine Act transferred responsibility for carrying out its mandates from the Department of the Interior to the Department of Labor The new agency was named the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) MSHAHelping you to work more safelyin the mining industry.

  6. The Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 established the statutory rights of miners • The Act was passed by Congress • The Act currently governs MSHA’s activities

  7. The Purpose of the Mine Act is: • To establish mandatory health and safety standards • To protect the health and safety of the Nation’s coal or other miners • To require that each operator and every miner comply with the standards • To improve training programs aimed at preventing coal or other mine accidents

  8. The Mine Act established the independent Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission to provide for independent review of the majority of MSHA’s enforcement actions

  9. The Mine Act strengthened and expanded the rights of miners and enhanced the protection of miners from retaliation for exercising such rights.

  10. The Mine Act provides more effective means and measures for improving the working conditions and practices in the Nation’s coal or other mines in order to prevent death and serious physical harm

  11. Mining fatalities dropped sharply under the Mine Act from 272 in 1977 to 86 in 2000

  12. Fatality Data as of April 5, 2004 Source: MSHA Website 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004


  14. Inspection on the Request of Miners • Section .717 carries over an important right granted to miners under the Coal Act – the right to request an inspection of the mine site by the Secretary when the miners have reasonable grounds to believe the work site to be dangerous

  15. Inspection on the Request of Miners • The request must be made in writing • The request must be signed by the miner or miner’s rep • The request must specify the alleged violation or imminent danger situation which is believed to exist

  16. The Secretary will conduct an inspection upon receipt of a request • The mine operator will receive a copy of the request no later than the time of the inspection

  17. Confidentiality of Complainants • The name of the person filing the complaint and the names of any miners referred to in the complaint do not appear on the copy of the complaint which is given to the mine operator

  18. Section 104(f)(2) • This section permits miners or their representatives to notify inspectors of the suspected violations or hazards which they believe may exist in the mine while the inspector is at the mine premises

  19. Rights of Miners and Miners’ Representatives • Section 104(e) requires that representatives of the operator and miners be permitted to accompany inspectors in order to assist in conducting a full inspection • The opportunity to participate in pre- or post- inspection conferences has been provided

  20. The presence of a miners’ rep at the opening conference helps miners to know what the concerns and focus of the inspector will be

  21. Attendance at the closing conference enables miners to be fully apprised of the results of the inspection • Such participate will enable miners to understand the safety and health requirements of the Act and will enhance miner safety and health awareness

  22. The operators of mines with the assistance of the miners have the primary responsibility to prevent the existence of unsafe conditions and practices

  23. Benefit of the Mine Act The general belief is that mine safety and health will generally improve to the extent that miners themselves are aware of mining hazards and play an integral part in the enforcement of the mine safety and health standards