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U.S. Department of Labor

Mine Safety and Health Administration
201 12th Street South, Suite 401
Arlington, VA 22202-5450

EFFECTIVE DATE:  December 24, 2013  


                     Administrator for
                     Coal Mine Safety and Health

SUBJECT:     Corrective Measures for Inspection and Investigation Activities Related to
                    Roof Control Plans

This Procedure Instruction Letter (PIL) applies to Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) enforcement personnel who are responsible for conducting inspection and/or investigative activity at underground coal mines.

The purpose of this PIL is to clarify actions to be taken to comply with the Office of the Inspector Generals (OIG) recommendations as a result of the audit on the Crandall Canyon Mine. The OIG recommended that MSHA require inspectors to document the work they perform in (a) the effective questioning of miners on mining activities and conditions in the mine, and their basis for any conclusions on (b) the continued adequacy of roof control plans, and (c) the completion and adequacy of miner training on such plans.

Procedure Instructions
During the course of any E01 inspection or E20 investigation conducted in areas of the mine where miners are present, the inspector is to discuss and question miners on current mining activities and conditions.

MSHA representatives should question miners to determine whether their training with respect to the roof control plan is complete and adequate for the mining activities. These discussions are only required to be conducted once for each working section on each E01 inspection or E20 investigation and are to be documented in the inspection notes. When E01 inspections or E20 investigations are conducted in areas of the mine where miners are not present, the inspector should make visual observations of the roof and rib to evaluate the operators compliance with and adequacy of the approved roof control plan. These observations should be documented in the inspection notes, and they should describe whether the roof and ribs appear adequately supported. If geological conditions that are abnormal to regular mining conditions are observed, they should also be noted.

Internet Availability
This PIL may be viewed on the Internet by accessing MSHAs home page then choosing Compliance Info and then Procedure Instruction Letters.

This PIL provides directions for inspectors to assure that the standards are being applied properly and uniformly and that miners are receiving adequate training on roof control plans.

The Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, 30 CFR 75.220(a)(1) and 75.220(a)(3)(d).

Issuing Office and Contact Persons
Coal Mine Safety and Health, Division of Safety
Johnny P. Calhoun, (202) 693-9507

MSHA Program Policy Manual Holders.