Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
Currently, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is soliciting comments concerning the extension of the information collection related to Emergency Mine Evacuation: 30 CFR 48.3--Training plans; time of submission; where filed; information required; time for approval; method for disapproval; commencement of training; approval of instructors; 30 CFR 75.1502--Mine emergency evacuation and firefighting program of instruction; 30 CFR 75.1504--Mine emergency evacuation training and drills; 30 CFR 75.1505--Escapeway maps. 30 CFR 75.1714-3--Self-rescue devices; inspection, testing, maintenance, repair, and recordkeeping; 30 CFR 75.1714-5--Map locations of self-contained self-rescuers (SCSRs); 30 CFR 75.1714-8--Reporting SCSR inventory and malfunctions; retention of SCSRs.
The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) issued a final rule addressing emergency mine evacuation in 2006. This regulation included requirements for immediate accident notification applicable to all mines. In addition, it contained requirements for new and expanded training, including evacuation drills; self-contained self-rescuer (SCSR) storage, training, and use; and the installation and maintenance of lifelines in underground coal mines.
Submission of training plans and programs of instruction and certification that training was done provides MSHA, operators, and miners with confidence that training is appropriate and was conducted as necessary, particularly when MSHA is not able to be at the mine. Without adequate training, miners may sustain serious or even fatal injuries because they lack the knowledge to properly and safely perform various tasks and activities or evacuate a mine.
If inspections and monitoring of SCSRs did not occur, this could allow unsafe conditions to go undetected and the SCSRs might not be usable when needed. This would endanger miners' safety.
If operators were not required to submit an SCSR inventory or to notify MSHA when they encounter an SCSR defect, performance problem, or malfunction, MSHA would not have the information needed to notify other mines that may also use the affected SCSRs. This could endanger miners because operators could continue to rely on deficient SCSRs.
MSHA is particularly interested in comments that:
• Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;
• Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
• Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and
• Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology,
Information collected is used by the mine operator and MSHA to ensure that underground coal operators modify their training plans whenever they modify their program of instruction. This will ensure that newly hired miners receive the same level of training as is required for other miners. Operators use part 48 training plans to train each miner about the safety and health aspects of the mining environment and the tasks associated with the miner's job. MSHA uses the plans to ensure that all miners are receiving training necessary to perform their jobs in a safe manner.
MSHA requires underground coal operators to submit a Mine Emergency Evacuation and Firefighting Program of Instruction to the District Manager for approval. Upon approval by the MSHA District Manager, the operator uses the approved program of instruction to implement programs for training miners in responding appropriately to mine emergencies. MSHA uses the plans to ensure that the operator's program will provide the required training and drills to all miners.
MSHA requires the operator to certify the training and drill for each miner at the completion of each quarterly drill, annual expectations training, or other training, and that a copy be provided to the miner upon request. These certifications are used by MSHA, operators, and miners as evidence that the required training has been completed.
MSHA requires that escapeway maps show the SCSR storage locations. Accurate and up-to-date maps are essential to the engineering plans and safe operation of mines and to the health and safety of the miners. MSHA and other emergency evacuation personnel will use the notations on the maps should a rescue or recovery operation be necessary. Miners use the escapeway maps in training and during mine evacuations. Escapeway maps are required to be posted or readily accessible for all miners in each working section, areas where mechanized mining equipment is being installed or removed, at surface locations where miners congregate and in each refuge alternative.
MSHA requires that persons that test Self-Contained, Self-Rescuers (SCSRs) certify that the tests were done and record all corrective actions. MSHA inspectors use these records to determine compliance with the standards. It includes requirements for compiling, maintaining, and reporting an inventory of all SCSRs at the mine, and for reporting defects, performance problems, or malfunctions with SCSRs. This will assure that MSHA can investigate SCSR problems, if necessary, notify other users of these problems before accidents occur and require manufacturers to address potential problems with these critical devices:
Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval of the information collection request; they will also become a matter of public record.