Workers' Compensation

Mine Commission Rules In Favor Of MSHA In Massey Energy Case

Arlington, VA (CompNewsNetwork) - The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration announced that an Administrative Law Judge with the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission has ruled in favor of MSHA in a legal challenge filed last June by Massey Energy's Performance Coal Co. The company had challenged MSHA's protocol guidelines in the underground accident investigation of the Upper Big Branch Mine, in which the agency prohibited Massey Energy investigators from using cameras, collecting evidence, mapping and conducting sampling. In her ruling, ALJ Margaret A. Miller held that MSHA did not abuse its discretion in adopting the protocols and that the protocols "are rationally connected to safely conducting the accident investigation."

MSHA, along with West Virginia's Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training, had outlined specific protocols in June to ensure the preservation of evidence. The agency considered input from all entities with an interest in the investigation, including Performance Coal. Furthermore, MSHA modified those protocols to accommodate a number of the company's requests … read more