MSHA Intervention

A multi-year spike in miner fatalities and a front-page story in USA Today about deaths at these operations created an opportunity for MSHA’s assistant secretary, congressional appropriators, and representatives of the “exempt” mines to negotiate a plan to remove the long-standing rider. By congressional directive, the new training rules had to be issued by September 30, 1999. Mine operators were given one year to be in compliance. These new mandatory safety and health training regulations, known as Part 46, took affect on October 1, 2000.

Injury Measurement of Population at Risk

The MSHA regulations require surface mine operators to file a quarterly report with employment hours. If an accident, injury, or illness occurs, the operator must report the event to MSHA < 10 working days. Data for 12 years of interest in this study, 1995-2006, were imported into SAS® version 8.2. The pre-intervention evaluation-analysis period was defined as January 1995 to September 2000. The post-intervention evaluation-analysis period was October 2000 to December 2006. MSHA regulations applied to about 10,000 mines and an estimated 110,000 workers. The mine sites in this evaluation met the following criteria: operational from January 1, 1995, to December 31, 2006; and had employees at the mine for at least eight quarters in both the pre-intervention and post-intervention periods. Of the 10,000, 7,998 (80%) sites met the inclusion criteria: 85% reported employee hours in at least 16 quarters in the intervention periods: 42.5% reporting employee hours in all 48 quarters. Nearly 55% of the eligible mines were intermittent operations: mines with at least one quarter/year with no reported employee hours.

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