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Posts in Pattern of Violations.

In a recent decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit dismissed the mining industry’s challenge to the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s (“MSHA”) recently revised pattern of violations (“POV”) rule concluding that the Court lacked authority to hear the claim.

Yesterday, the Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit denied the mining industry's request to stay implementation of MSHA's new POV final rule, pending its review of the rule. Essentially, the Court of Appeals found that enforcement of the rule would not cause irreparable harm to the mining industry during the pendency of the appeal.

This post discusses the most recent decision of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission ("Commission") regarding the appropriate legal standard for significant and substantial ("S&S") designations. Mine operators should make sure they are aware of the Commission's interpretation of the Mathies test as it evolves so that they can point out instances when the test is misapplied before an Inspector issues a citation.

The Commission's ...

After several years of received employer’s requests, OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs (DEP) issued a memorandum detailing the removal criteria for those employers currently under OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP). This memorandum provides employers guidance on how to be removed from the SVEP, a process that has been unclear since the program was first implemented.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) recently released a Final Rule (summary version/full version) that significantly changes the way the Agency charged with protecting America's miners uses one of its most powerful enforcement tools: pattern of violations (POV). Under the Mine Act, MSHA has the authority to issue a pattern of violations notice to mine operators with a pattern of recurrent significant and substantial (S&S) violations.

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