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Yesterday, MSHA announced a Proposed Rule to revise the criteria and procedures for assessment of civil penalties under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act ("Mine Act"). The Proposed Rule will significantly alter the evaluation of citations and will have an impact on all mine operators that receive citations. MSHA released a brief Fact Sheet describing the proposed changes, which we have also summarized below. Rather than using the current 208-point scale (Section 100.3(g)), MSHA's Proposed Rule would convert the Penalty Conversion Table to a 100-point scale, with different relative weights for each criteria.

Medical records are generally considered to be private information--protected from disclosure by federal and/or state law--but that didn't stop the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals from deciding that MSHA has the authority to review miners' medical and personnel records.

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