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Miners Rights. Rights & Responsibilities Under the Mine Safety & Health Act of 1977. Safety & Health Training Program. Introduction. This program is a summary of Rights & Responsibilities granted to Miners, Job Applicants, & Miner’s Representatives under the Mine Safety & Health Act.

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Miners rights l.jpg
Miners Rights

Rights & Responsibilities Under the Mine Safety & Health Act of 1977

Safety & Health Training Program


Introduction l.jpg
Introduction

  • This program is a summary of Rights & Responsibilities granted to Miners, Job Applicants, & Miner’s Representatives under the Mine Safety & Health Act.

  • This program is only a summary, and must not be considered an official statement of law.


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Some Definitions

  • “Miner” – Anyone working in a mine.

  • “Representative of Miners” – a person chosen to represent miners in safety & health matters.

  • “Agent of the Company” –any person charged with responsibility for the operation of all or a part of a mine. It also means any person charged with the supervision of the miners or who directs the workforce (including hourly employees who direct the workforce).


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Rights Applicable to All Miners

  • Protection against Discrimination.

  • Participation in MSHA Inspections.

  • Obtaining an MSHA Mine Inspection.

  • Pay during Mine Withdrawals.

  • Contesting Enforcement Actions.

  • Getting Proper Safety & Health Training.

  • Health Protection Rights

  • Being informed of, and participating in, standards and enforcement of the Act.


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Protection against Discrimination

  • Miners cannot be fired, harassed, refused employment, or transferred to a lower paying job because they exercised rights under the Act such as (but not limited to) the following:

    • Filing a complaint under the Act of an alleged safety/health violation.

    • Instituting, testifying or assisting in any legal proceedings under the Act.

    • Getting a medical evaluation that indicates a need for changing jobs or job location.

    • Refusing to work (or was withdrawn) because proper safety & health training was not received.


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Discrimination (Continued)

  • Supervisors: Please Note!

    • Congress intended the Mine Act to protect workers who, in good faith, refuse to work in unsafe or unhealthy conditions.

    • It also protects workers who refuse to comply when ordered by a supervisor to violate a health or safety standard.

Know your Standards!


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Participation in MSHA Inspections

  • The Act gives miners (and their reps.) an opportunity to participate in mine inspections.

  • If no worker decides to participate, the inspector will consult with a reasonable number of workers.

  • Workers have a right to pay when participating in an inspection.


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Before asking MSHA for a Mine Inspection, have you…

  • Tried to fix the safety problem yourself?

  • Reported it to your supervisor?

  • Reported it to your Miner’s Rep.?

  • Tried all of your company’s in-house procedures for solving safety problems?

Contact MSHA when ‘In-House’ procedures fail.


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Obtaining an MSHA Mine Inspection

  • General Notice.

    • Can be given orally or in writing.

    • Can be done anonymously.

  • Section 103(g) Notification.

    • Must be in writing.

  • Names of miners making requests for inspection are considered confidential.


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Pay for Miners idled by a Withdrawal

  • If a withdrawal order is issued, miners effected are still eligible for pay.

    • Full pay to end of shift.

    • Next shift – full pay for 4 hours.

    • If withdrawal continues because mine operator does not comply with standard, miners are paid at regular rate while idled or for one week, whichever is longer.


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Contesting Enforcement Actions

  • Miners can get copies of all citations, orders, and penalty assessments.

  • Miners have 10 days within which to request a conference with the District manager.

  • Miners have 30 days within which to notify MSHA of a challenge.


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Training – Part 46 & 48

  • Training is done during working hours.

  • During training, Trainees are paid at their regular rate.

  • Lack of training is not grounds for discrimination in pay or job.

  • Miners will have all training plans made available to them for comments:

    • Part 48 - 2 weeks prior to the plan being sent to MSHA for approval.

    • Part 46 – 2 weeks prior to training taking place.


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Health Protection Rights

  • Exposure to Toxic Materials or Harmful Agents including:

    • Dust

    • Noise

  • Some conditions may require that medical examinations be made available to you by the Mine Operator.


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Rights - New & Revised Standards

  • Miners or their reps. may comment on or object to proposed standards or regulations.

  • Miners may challenge a new standard prior to the 60th day after it is published in the Federal Register.

  • Miners can propose alternatives to a standard if it has at least the same measure of protection as the original standard.


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Your rights to Information

  • General Access.

  • Exposure to Toxic/Harmful Agents.

  • Records of Accidents & Investigations.

  • Notice of Proposed Civil Penalty.

  • Posting Documents at a Mine.


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Your Legal Responsibilities

  • Smoking prohibited-110(g)

    • Smoking in areas posted ‘No Smoking” for fire and explosion hazards.

    • Mine Operator must post these areas

  • False Statements & Representations 110(f)

    • Includes applications, records, reports training certificates or any other document required to be kept of filed with MSHA


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