Safety Improvement Technologies for Mobile Equipment at Surface Mines, and for Belt Conveyors at Surface and Underground Mines, 29716-29719 [2018-13603]

Download as PDF 29716 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 123 / Tuesday, June 26, 2018 / Proposed Rules Issued on June 20, 2018 under authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.85. Brandye L. Hendrickson, Acting Administrator, Federal Highway Administration. [FR Doc. 2018–13645 Filed 6–25–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–22–P DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 301 [REG–132434–17] RIN 1545–BO12 Certain Non-Government Attorneys Not Authorized To Participate in Examinations of Books and Witnesses as a Section 6103(n) Contractor; Hearing Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury. ACTION: Notification of a public hearing on notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: This document provides a notification of public hearing on proposed regulations relating to section 7602(a) of the Internal Revenue Code relating to administrative proceedings. DATES: The public hearing is being held on Tuesday, July 31, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. The IRS must receive outlines of the topics to be discussed at the public hearing by Thursday, July 19, 2018. ADDRESSES: The public hearing is being held in the IRS Auditorium, Internal Revenue Service Building, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20224. Due to building security procedures, visitors must enter at the Constitution Avenue entrance. In addition, all visitors must present a valid photo identification to enter the building. Send Submissions to CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG–132434–17), Room 5205, Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044. Submissions may be handdelivered Monday through Friday to CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG–132434–17), Couriers Desk, Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20224 or sent electronically via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov (IRS REG–132434– 17). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Concerning the proposed regulations, William V. Spatz (202) 317–5461; concerning submissions of comments, the hearing and/or to be placed on the sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:21 Jun 25, 2018 Jkt 244001 building access list to attend the hearing Regina Johnson at (202) 317–6901 (not toll-free numbers). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The subject of the public hearing is the notice of proposed rulemaking (REG– 132434–17) that was published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 (83 FR 13206). The rules of 26 CFR 601.601(a)(3) apply to the hearing. Persons who wish to present oral comments at the hearing that submitted written comments by June 26, 2018, must submit an outline of the topics to be addressed and the amount of time to be devoted to each topic by Thursday, July 19, 2018. A period of 10 minutes is allotted to each person for presenting oral comments. After the deadline for receiving outlines has passed, the IRS will prepare an agenda containing the schedule of speakers. Copies of the agenda will be made available, free of charge, at the hearing or by contacting the Publications and Regulations Branch at (202) 317–6901 (not a toll-free number). Because of access restrictions, the IRS will not admit visitors beyond the immediate entrance area more than 30 minutes before the hearing starts. For information about having your name placed on the building access list to attend the hearing, see the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document. Martin V. Franks, Chief, Publications and Regulations Branch, Legal Processing Division, Associate Chief Counsel, (Procedure and Administration). [FR Doc. 2018–13695 Filed 6–25–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830–01–P DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Mine Safety and Health Administration 30 CFR Parts 56 and 75 [Docket No. MSHA–2018–0016] RIN 1219–AB91 Safety Improvement Technologies for Mobile Equipment at Surface Mines, and for Belt Conveyors at Surface and Underground Mines Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor. ACTION: Request for information. AGENCY: Mining safety could be substantially improved by preventing accidents that involve mobile equipment at surface coal mines and metal and nonmetal mines and belt SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 conveyors at surface and underground mines. The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is taking a number of actions related to mobile equipment and belt conveyors to improve miners’ safety, including providing technical assistance, conducting awareness campaigns, and developing best practices and training materials. MSHA is also considering the role of engineering controls that would increase the use of seatbelts, enhance equipment operators’ ability to see all areas near the machine, warn equipment operators of potential collision hazards, prevent equipment operators from driving over a highwall or dump point, and help prevent entanglement hazards related to working near moving or reenergized belt conveyors. MSHA is seeking information and data on engineering controls that could reduce the risk of accidents and improve miner safety. MSHA is also seeking suggestions from stakeholders on: Best practices, training materials, policies and procedures, innovative technologies, and any other information they may have to improve safety in and around mobile equipment, and working near and around belt conveyors. MSHA will hold stakeholder meetings to provide the mining community an opportunity to discuss and share information about the issues raised in this notice. A separate notice announcing stakeholder meetings will be published in the Federal Register at a later date. DATES: Comments must be received or postmarked by midnight Eastern Daylight Time on December 24, 2018. ADDRESSES: Comments must be identified with ‘‘RIN 1219–AB91’’ and may be sent to MSHA by any of the following methods: • Federal E-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments. • Email: zzMSHA-comments@ dol.gov. • Mail: MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, Virginia 22202–5452. • Hand Delivery or Courier: 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, Virginia, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Sign in at the receptionist’s desk on the 4th Floor East, Suite 4E401. • Fax: 202–693–9441. Instructions: All submissions must include ‘‘RIN 1219–AB91’’ or ‘‘Docket No. MSHA 2018–0016.’’ Do not include personal information that you do not E:\FR\FM\26JNP1.SGM 26JNP1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 123 / Tuesday, June 26, 2018 / Proposed Rules want publicly disclosed. MSHA will post all comments without change to http://www.regulations.gov and http:// arlweb.msha.gov/currentcomments.asp, including any personal information provided. Docket: For access to the docket to read comments and background information, go to http:// www.regulations.gov, or http:// www.msha.gov/currentcomments.asp. To review comments and background information in person go to MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 201 12th Street South, Arlington, Virginia, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. EDT Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Sign in at the receptionist’s desk on the 4th Floor East, Suite 4E401. Email Notification: To subscribe to receive an email notification when MSHA publishes rulemaking documents in the Federal Register, go to https:// www.msha.gov/subscriptions. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sheila A. McConnell, Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, MSHA, at mcconnell.sheila.a@dol.gov (email), 202–693–9440 (voice), or 202– 693–9441 (fax). These are not toll-free numbers. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS I. Mobile Equipment at Surface Mines Mobile equipment used at surface coal mines, surface metal and nonmetal mines, and the surface areas of underground mines is a broad category that includes bulldozers, front end loaders, service trucks, skid steers, haul trucks, and many other types of vehicles and equipment. Accidents involving mobile equipment have historically accounted for a large number of the fatalities in mining, especially in metal and nonmetal mines. In 2017, for example, nearly 40 percent of the 28 mining fatalities and more than 30 percent of injuries involved mobile equipment. Since 2007, 61 miners have been killed in accidents involving mobile equipment. MSHA conducted an investigation of all of these accidents. MSHA determined that contributing factors in many of these accidents included: (1) No seatbelt, seatbelt not used, or inadequate seatbelts; (2) larger vehicles striking smaller vehicles; and (3) equipment operators’ difficulty in detecting the edges of highwalls or dump points, causing equipment to fall from substantial heights. Seatbelts MSHA has preliminarily determined that mobile equipment operators are VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:21 Jun 25, 2018 Jkt 244001 more likely to survive rollover and tipping accidents when they are wearing a seatbelt. MSHA examined 38 fatal accidents that occurred since 2007 involving mobile equipment in which the deceased was not wearing a seatbelt. MSHA determined that 35 of the victims (92 percent) might have survived had they been wearing a seatbelt. The Agency believes that engineering controls could increase the use of seatbelts by equipment operators. For example, engineering control devices could ensure that mobile equipment operators use a seatbelt by affecting equipment operation in the event the operator does not fasten the seatbelt. Other engineering controls could increase equipment seatbelt use without impeding or halting machine operation. These controls include high-visibility seatbelt materials and warning devices, such as warning lights and audible warning signals, that remind the equipment operator to fasten the seatbelt. Some warning signals stop after a period of time; others continue until the seatbelt is fastened. Additional engineering controls could promote seatbelt usage by making equipment operation impractical or uncomfortable, or by notifying mine management if the seatbelt is not used (or not used properly). Large Equipment Striking Smaller Equipment There are areas around mobile equipment in which the equipment operator cannot see other miners, equipment, or structures (i.e., ‘‘blind areas’’). Mobile equipment size and shape and the operator’s cab location can each create unique blind areas. Blind areas have contributed to mobile equipment operators driving over highwalls or dump points, colliding with other equipment, and striking miners. Engineering controls, such as collision warning systems and collision avoidance systems, could provide equipment operators with additional information about their surroundings and help reduce accidents. These systems could provide warnings when other vehicles, miners, or structures pose a potential collision hazard. Collision avoidance systems could provide an additional level of safety by activating machine controls, such as automatic braking, to avoid collisions. Autonomous mining systems may also have the potential to improve miner safety. Autonomous mining systems, which are controlled remotely, do not require an on-board operator, thereby removing the miner from hazardous situations. In addition, autonomous mining systems are equipped with GPS PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 29717 technology and use enhanced safety features, such as collision avoidance systems, which can indicate the location of other nearby equipment and miners, thereby reducing striking accidents and fatalities. Highwalls and Dump Points Since 2007, there have been 20 fatal accidents in surface coal and metal and nonmetal mines involving bulldozer operators and haul truck drivers who traveled over the edge of the highwall or dump point. Systems that integrate technologies such as GPS, radar, and radio frequency identification tagging could help equipment operators better identify the edges of highwalls or dump points. Other practices, such as ground markers and aerial markers, also could help equipment operators identify their locations relative to the edges of highwalls or dump points when pushing or dumping material. Devices that provide visual, audible, or other signals could also warn equipment operators of hazards surrounding their locations. II. Belt Conveyors at Surface and Underground Mines Since 2007, there have been 17 fatalities related to working near or around belt conveyors, of which 76 percent were related to miners becoming entangled in belt drives, belt rollers, and discharge points. Factors that contribute to entanglement hazards include inadequate or missing guards, inadequate or an insufficient number of crossovers in strategic locations, and/or inappropriate lock out/tag out procedures. Systems that can sense a miner’s presence in hazardous locations; ensure that machine guards are properly secured in place; and/or ensure machines are properly locked out and tagged out during maintenance would reduce fatalities. IV. Information Request MSHA is requesting information from the mining community regarding the types of engineering controls available, how to implement such engineering controls, and how these controls could be used in mobile equipment and belt conveyors to reduce accidents, fatalities and injuries. When responding— • Address your comments to the topic and question number. For example, the response to questions regarding seatbelts, Question 1, would be identified as ‘‘A.1’’. • Please provide sufficient detail in your responses to enable adequate Agency review and consideration. Where possible, include specific E:\FR\FM\26JNP1.SGM 26JNP1 29718 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 123 / Tuesday, June 26, 2018 / Proposed Rules examples to support the rationale for your position. • Please identify the relevant information on which you rely. Include experiences, data models, calculations, studies and articles, and standard professional practices. • Please provide specific information on the technological and economic feasibility of the engineering and administrative controls included in this notice, as well as any additional controls or practices which you may suggest. MSHA invites comment in response to the questions below as well as on issues related specifically to the impact on small mines. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS A. Seatbelts Seat belt interlocks are engineering controls that prevent or otherwise affect equipment operation. MSHA is particularly interested in engineering controls that affect equipment operation when the seatbelt is not properly fastened. 1. What are the advantages, disadvantages, and costs associated with a seatbelt interlock system? 2. Are seatbelt interlock systems available that could be retrofitted, and if so, onto which types of machines and how? What are the costs associated with retrofitting machines with these systems? 3. Are some types of mobile equipment unsuited for use with seatbelt interlock systems, and if so, which machines and why? 4. Reliability is the ability of a system to perform repeatedly with the same result. Please provide information on how to determine the reliability of seatbelt interlock systems. Some engineering controls encourage and promote seatbelt use without directly preventing or affecting equipment operation. These engineering controls include audible and visual warning devices, such as lights and buzzers/bells that remind equipment operators to fasten their seatbelts. 5. What are the advantages, disadvantages, and costs associated with these warning devices? B. Collision Warning Systems and Collision Avoidance Systems MSHA is also interested in collision warning systems and collision avoidance systems that may help prevent accidents by decreasing equipment blind areas and reducing collisions. These systems detect obstacles and provide the equipment operators with information about their location. The installation of the systems would likely need to be customized to VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:21 Jun 25, 2018 Jkt 244001 account for variations in height, articulation, and other equipment design features. Such systems would likely also need to have the capability to adjust to mining conditions and environments such as road conditions, weather, and traffic patterns. They would also need to be designed and installed to minimize distractions such as nuisance alarms and unnecessary stops, and to be compatible with other technologies, such as GPS, radar, radio frequency identification tagging, electromagnetic systems, cameras, peerto-peer networks, and path prediction technologies. 6. What are the advantages, disadvantages, and costs associated with collision warning systems and collision avoidance systems? 7. Please provide information on how collision warning systems and collision avoidance systems can protect miners, e.g., warning, stopping the equipment, or other protection. Include your rationale. Include successes or failures, if applicable. 8. What types of mobile equipment can, and should, be equipped with collision warning and collision avoidance systems? For example, systems that work well on haul trucks may not work well on other mobile equipment; certain types of equipment may be more likely to be used near smaller vehicles; or some types of equipment may have larger blind areas. 9. Collision warning systems and collision avoidance systems may require multiple technologies that combine positioning/location, obstacle detection, path prediction, peer-to-peer communication, or alarm functions. What combination of technologies would be most effective in surface mining conditions? Please provide your rationale. 10. Please describe situations, if any, in which it would be appropriate to use a collision warning system rather than a collision avoidance system. 11. Please describe any differences between a surface coal environment and a surface metal and nonmetal environment that would influence your response to the questions above. C. Highwall and Dump Points Various technologies, such as GPS, can be used to provide equipment operators better information regarding their location in relation to the edge of highwalls or dump points. Other mechanisms, such as ground markers and aerial markers, also could help equipment operators identify their location when pushing or dumping material. PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 12. Which technologies or systems can prevent highwall and dump point overtravel? Please describe the advantages, disadvantages, and costs associated with these technologies or systems. 13. Many surface mines use GPS on equipment for tracking, dispatching, and positioning. How can these systems be used to provide equipment operators better information on their location with respect to highwall or dump points? 14. What are the advantages, disadvantages, and costs associated with ground and aerial markers? D. Autonomous Mobile Equipment 15. Please identify the types of autonomous mobile equipment in use at surface mines. 16. Please describe the advantages and disadvantages associated with autonomous mobile equipment. 17. Please provide information related to any experience with testing or implementing autonomous mobile equipment, including costs and benefits. E. Belt Conveyors 18. What technologies are available that could provide additional protections from accidents related to working near or around belt conveyors? Can these technologies be used in surface and underground mines? 19. Please provide information related to any experience with testing or implementing systems that sense a miner’s presence in hazardous locations; ensure that machine guards are properly secured in place; and/or ensure machines are properly locked out and tagged out during maintenance. Please also include information and data on the costs and benefits associated with these systems. F. Training and Technical Assistance 20. Please provide suggestions on how training can increase seatbelt use and improve equipment operators’ awareness of hazards at the mine site. 21. Please provide suggestions on how training can ensure that miners lock and tag conveyor belts before performing maintenance work. G. Benefits and Costs MSHA requests comment on the costs, benefits, and the technological and economic feasibility of suggested engineering controls to improve miners’ safety. Your answers to these questions will help MSHA evaluate options and determine an appropriate course of action. H. Other Information 22. Please provide any data or information that may be useful to E:\FR\FM\26JNP1.SGM 26JNP1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 123 / Tuesday, June 26, 2018 / Proposed Rules MSHA to determine non-regulatory initiatives the Agency should explore. Authority: 30 U.S.C. 811, 813(h). David G. Zatezalo, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health. [FR Doc. 2018–13603 Filed 6–25–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–43–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG–2018–0598] RIN 1625–AA00 Safety Zone, Swim Around Charleston; Charleston, SC Coast Guard, DHS. Notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: ACTION: The Coast Guard proposes to establish a temporary moving safety zone during the Swim Around Charleston, a swimming race occurring on the Wando River, the Cooper River, Charleston Harbor, and the Ashley River, in Charleston, South Carolina. The temporary moving safety zone is necessary to protect swimmers, participant vessels, spectators, and the general public during the event. Persons and vessels would be prohibited from entering the safety zone unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Charleston or a designated representative. We invite your comments on this proposed rulemaking. DATES: Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before July 26, 2018. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG– 2018–0598 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http:// www.regulations.gov. See the ‘‘Public Participation and Request for Comments’’ portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments. SUMMARY: If you have questions about this proposed rulemaking, call or email Lieutenant Justin Heck, Sector Charleston Office of Waterways Management, Coast Guard; telephone (843) 740–3184, email Justin.C.Heck@uscg.mil. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:21 Jun 25, 2018 Jkt 244001 DHS Department of Homeland Security E.O. Executive Order FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking Pub. L. Public Law § Section U.S.C. United States Code COTP Captain of the Port II. Background, Purpose, and Legal Basis On April 9, 2018, Kathleen Wilson notified the Coast Guard that she will be sponsoring the Swim Around Charleston on September 16, 2018 and would impact waters of the Wando River, Cooper River, Charleston Harbor, and Ashley River, in Charleston, South Carolina. The legal basis for the proposed rule is the Coast Guard’s authority to establish a safety zone is 33 U.S.C. 1231. The purpose of the proposed rule is to ensure safety of life on the navigable waters of the Wando River, Cooper River, Charleston Harbor, and Ashley River, in Charleston, South Carolina during Swim Around Charleston. III. Discussion of Proposed Rule The COTP proposes to establish a temporary safety zone on the waters of the Wando River, Cooper River, Charleston Harbor, and Ashley River, in Charleston, South Carolina during Swim Around Charleston from 7:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. on September 16, 2018. Approximately 100 swimmers are anticipated to participate in the race. Persons and vessels desiring to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the regulated area may contact the COTP by telephone at (843) 740– 7050, or a designated representative via VHF radio on channel 16, to request authorization. If authorization to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the regulated area is granted, all persons and vessels receiving such authorization must comply with the instructions of the COTP or a designated representative. The COTP will provide notice of the safety zone by Local Notice to Mariners, Broadcast Notice to Mariners, and on-scene designated representatives. IV. Regulatory Analyses We developed this proposed rule after considering numerous statutes and Executive Orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on a number of these statutes and Executive Orders and we discuss First Amendment rights of protestors. A. Regulatory Planning and Review Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 29719 alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. Executive Order 13771 directs agencies to control regulatory costs through a budgeting process. This NPRM has not been designated a ‘‘significant regulatory action,’’ under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the NPRM has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and pursuant to OMB guidance it is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 13771. This regulatory action determination is based on: (1) The safety zone would be enforced for only seven hours; (2) the safety zone would move with the participant vessels so that once the swimmers clear a portion of the waterway, the safety zone would no longer be enforced in that portion of the waterway; (3) although persons and vessels would not be able to enter or transit through the safety zone without authorization from the COTP or a designated representative, they would be able to operate in the surrounding area during the enforcement period; (4) persons and vessels would still be able to enter or transit through the safety zone if authorized by the COTP or a designated representative; and (5) the COTP would provide advance notification of the safety zone to the local maritime community by Local Notice to Mariners and Broadcast Notice to Mariners. B. Impact on Small Entities The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, 5 U.S.C. 601–612, as amended, requires Federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term ‘‘small entities’’ comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. We have considered the impact of this proposed rule on small entities. This rule may affect the following entities, some of which may be small entities: The owner or operators of vessels intending to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the regulated area during the enforcement period. For the reasons stated in section IV.A. above, this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. E:\FR\FM\26JNP1.SGM 26JNP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 123 (Tuesday, June 26, 2018)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 29716-29719]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-13603]


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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Mine Safety and Health Administration

30 CFR Parts 56 and 75

[Docket No. MSHA-2018-0016]
RIN 1219-AB91


Safety Improvement Technologies for Mobile Equipment at Surface 
Mines, and for Belt Conveyors at Surface and Underground Mines

AGENCY:  Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor.

ACTION: Request for information.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Mining safety could be substantially improved by preventing 
accidents that involve mobile equipment at surface coal mines and metal 
and nonmetal mines and belt conveyors at surface and underground mines. 
The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is taking a number of 
actions related to mobile equipment and belt conveyors to improve 
miners' safety, including providing technical assistance, conducting 
awareness campaigns, and developing best practices and training 
materials. MSHA is also considering the role of engineering controls 
that would increase the use of seatbelts, enhance equipment operators' 
ability to see all areas near the machine, warn equipment operators of 
potential collision hazards, prevent equipment operators from driving 
over a highwall or dump point, and help prevent entanglement hazards 
related to working near moving or re-energized belt conveyors. MSHA is 
seeking information and data on engineering controls that could reduce 
the risk of accidents and improve miner safety. MSHA is also seeking 
suggestions from stakeholders on: Best practices, training materials, 
policies and procedures, innovative technologies, and any other 
information they may have to improve safety in and around mobile 
equipment, and working near and around belt conveyors.
    MSHA will hold stakeholder meetings to provide the mining community 
an opportunity to discuss and share information about the issues raised 
in this notice. A separate notice announcing stakeholder meetings will 
be published in the Federal Register at a later date.

DATES: Comments must be received or postmarked by midnight Eastern 
Daylight Time on December 24, 2018.

ADDRESSES: Comments must be identified with ``RIN 1219-AB91'' and may 
be sent to MSHA by any of the following methods:
     Federal E-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
     Email: [email protected].
     Mail: MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and 
Variances, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, Virginia 
22202-5452.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: 201 12th Street South, Suite 
4E401, Arlington, Virginia, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday 
through Friday, except Federal holidays. Sign in at the receptionist's 
desk on the 4th Floor East, Suite 4E401.
     Fax: 202-693-9441.
    Instructions: All submissions must include ``RIN 1219-AB91'' or 
``Docket No. MSHA 2018-0016.'' Do not include personal information that 
you do not

[[Page 29717]]

want publicly disclosed. MSHA will post all comments without change to 
http://www.regulations.gov and http://arlweb.msha.gov/currentcomments.asp, including any personal information provided.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read comments and background 
information, go to http://www.regulations.gov, or http://www.msha.gov/currentcomments.asp. To review comments and background information in 
person go to MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 201 
12th Street South, Arlington, Virginia, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. 
EDT Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Sign in at the 
receptionist's desk on the 4th Floor East, Suite 4E401.
    Email Notification: To subscribe to receive an email notification 
when MSHA publishes rulemaking documents in the Federal Register, go to 
https://www.msha.gov/subscriptions.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sheila A. McConnell, Director, Office 
of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, MSHA, at 
[email protected] (email), 202-693-9440 (voice), or 202-693-
9441 (fax). These are not toll-free numbers.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Mobile Equipment at Surface Mines

    Mobile equipment used at surface coal mines, surface metal and 
nonmetal mines, and the surface areas of underground mines is a broad 
category that includes bulldozers, front end loaders, service trucks, 
skid steers, haul trucks, and many other types of vehicles and 
equipment. Accidents involving mobile equipment have historically 
accounted for a large number of the fatalities in mining, especially in 
metal and nonmetal mines. In 2017, for example, nearly 40 percent of 
the 28 mining fatalities and more than 30 percent of injuries involved 
mobile equipment.
    Since 2007, 61 miners have been killed in accidents involving 
mobile equipment. MSHA conducted an investigation of all of these 
accidents. MSHA determined that contributing factors in many of these 
accidents included: (1) No seatbelt, seatbelt not used, or inadequate 
seatbelts; (2) larger vehicles striking smaller vehicles; and (3) 
equipment operators' difficulty in detecting the edges of highwalls or 
dump points, causing equipment to fall from substantial heights.

Seatbelts

    MSHA has preliminarily determined that mobile equipment operators 
are more likely to survive rollover and tipping accidents when they are 
wearing a seatbelt. MSHA examined 38 fatal accidents that occurred 
since 2007 involving mobile equipment in which the deceased was not 
wearing a seatbelt. MSHA determined that 35 of the victims (92 percent) 
might have survived had they been wearing a seatbelt. The Agency 
believes that engineering controls could increase the use of seatbelts 
by equipment operators. For example, engineering control devices could 
ensure that mobile equipment operators use a seatbelt by affecting 
equipment operation in the event the operator does not fasten the 
seatbelt.
    Other engineering controls could increase equipment seatbelt use 
without impeding or halting machine operation. These controls include 
high-visibility seatbelt materials and warning devices, such as warning 
lights and audible warning signals, that remind the equipment operator 
to fasten the seatbelt. Some warning signals stop after a period of 
time; others continue until the seatbelt is fastened. Additional 
engineering controls could promote seatbelt usage by making equipment 
operation impractical or uncomfortable, or by notifying mine management 
if the seatbelt is not used (or not used properly).

Large Equipment Striking Smaller Equipment

    There are areas around mobile equipment in which the equipment 
operator cannot see other miners, equipment, or structures (i.e., 
``blind areas''). Mobile equipment size and shape and the operator's 
cab location can each create unique blind areas. Blind areas have 
contributed to mobile equipment operators driving over highwalls or 
dump points, colliding with other equipment, and striking miners. 
Engineering controls, such as collision warning systems and collision 
avoidance systems, could provide equipment operators with additional 
information about their surroundings and help reduce accidents. These 
systems could provide warnings when other vehicles, miners, or 
structures pose a potential collision hazard. Collision avoidance 
systems could provide an additional level of safety by activating 
machine controls, such as automatic braking, to avoid collisions.
    Autonomous mining systems may also have the potential to improve 
miner safety. Autonomous mining systems, which are controlled remotely, 
do not require an on-board operator, thereby removing the miner from 
hazardous situations. In addition, autonomous mining systems are 
equipped with GPS technology and use enhanced safety features, such as 
collision avoidance systems, which can indicate the location of other 
nearby equipment and miners, thereby reducing striking accidents and 
fatalities.

Highwalls and Dump Points

    Since 2007, there have been 20 fatal accidents in surface coal and 
metal and nonmetal mines involving bulldozer operators and haul truck 
drivers who traveled over the edge of the highwall or dump point. 
Systems that integrate technologies such as GPS, radar, and radio 
frequency identification tagging could help equipment operators better 
identify the edges of highwalls or dump points. Other practices, such 
as ground markers and aerial markers, also could help equipment 
operators identify their locations relative to the edges of highwalls 
or dump points when pushing or dumping material. Devices that provide 
visual, audible, or other signals could also warn equipment operators 
of hazards surrounding their locations.

II. Belt Conveyors at Surface and Underground Mines

    Since 2007, there have been 17 fatalities related to working near 
or around belt conveyors, of which 76 percent were related to miners 
becoming entangled in belt drives, belt rollers, and discharge points. 
Factors that contribute to entanglement hazards include inadequate or 
missing guards, inadequate or an insufficient number of crossovers in 
strategic locations, and/or inappropriate lock out/tag out procedures. 
Systems that can sense a miner's presence in hazardous locations; 
ensure that machine guards are properly secured in place; and/or ensure 
machines are properly locked out and tagged out during maintenance 
would reduce fatalities.

IV. Information Request

    MSHA is requesting information from the mining community regarding 
the types of engineering controls available, how to implement such 
engineering controls, and how these controls could be used in mobile 
equipment and belt conveyors to reduce accidents, fatalities and 
injuries. When responding--
     Address your comments to the topic and question number. 
For example, the response to questions regarding seatbelts, Question 1, 
would be identified as ``A.1''.
     Please provide sufficient detail in your responses to 
enable adequate Agency review and consideration. Where possible, 
include specific

[[Page 29718]]

examples to support the rationale for your position.
     Please identify the relevant information on which you 
rely. Include experiences, data models, calculations, studies and 
articles, and standard professional practices.
     Please provide specific information on the technological 
and economic feasibility of the engineering and administrative controls 
included in this notice, as well as any additional controls or 
practices which you may suggest.
    MSHA invites comment in response to the questions below as well as 
on issues related specifically to the impact on small mines.

A. Seatbelts

    Seat belt interlocks are engineering controls that prevent or 
otherwise affect equipment operation. MSHA is particularly interested 
in engineering controls that affect equipment operation when the 
seatbelt is not properly fastened.
    1. What are the advantages, disadvantages, and costs associated 
with a seatbelt interlock system?
    2. Are seatbelt interlock systems available that could be 
retrofitted, and if so, onto which types of machines and how? What are 
the costs associated with retrofitting machines with these systems?
    3. Are some types of mobile equipment unsuited for use with 
seatbelt interlock systems, and if so, which machines and why?
    4. Reliability is the ability of a system to perform repeatedly 
with the same result. Please provide information on how to determine 
the reliability of seatbelt interlock systems.
    Some engineering controls encourage and promote seatbelt use 
without directly preventing or affecting equipment operation. These 
engineering controls include audible and visual warning devices, such 
as lights and buzzers/bells that remind equipment operators to fasten 
their seatbelts.
    5. What are the advantages, disadvantages, and costs associated 
with these warning devices?

B. Collision Warning Systems and Collision Avoidance Systems

    MSHA is also interested in collision warning systems and collision 
avoidance systems that may help prevent accidents by decreasing 
equipment blind areas and reducing collisions. These systems detect 
obstacles and provide the equipment operators with information about 
their location. The installation of the systems would likely need to be 
customized to account for variations in height, articulation, and other 
equipment design features. Such systems would likely also need to have 
the capability to adjust to mining conditions and environments such as 
road conditions, weather, and traffic patterns. They would also need to 
be designed and installed to minimize distractions such as nuisance 
alarms and unnecessary stops, and to be compatible with other 
technologies, such as GPS, radar, radio frequency identification 
tagging, electromagnetic systems, cameras, peer-to-peer networks, and 
path prediction technologies.
    6. What are the advantages, disadvantages, and costs associated 
with collision warning systems and collision avoidance systems?
    7. Please provide information on how collision warning systems and 
collision avoidance systems can protect miners, e.g., warning, stopping 
the equipment, or other protection. Include your rationale. Include 
successes or failures, if applicable.
    8. What types of mobile equipment can, and should, be equipped with 
collision warning and collision avoidance systems? For example, systems 
that work well on haul trucks may not work well on other mobile 
equipment; certain types of equipment may be more likely to be used 
near smaller vehicles; or some types of equipment may have larger blind 
areas.
    9. Collision warning systems and collision avoidance systems may 
require multiple technologies that combine positioning/location, 
obstacle detection, path prediction, peer-to-peer communication, or 
alarm functions. What combination of technologies would be most 
effective in surface mining conditions? Please provide your rationale.
    10. Please describe situations, if any, in which it would be 
appropriate to use a collision warning system rather than a collision 
avoidance system.
    11. Please describe any differences between a surface coal 
environment and a surface metal and nonmetal environment that would 
influence your response to the questions above.

C. Highwall and Dump Points

    Various technologies, such as GPS, can be used to provide equipment 
operators better information regarding their location in relation to 
the edge of highwalls or dump points. Other mechanisms, such as ground 
markers and aerial markers, also could help equipment operators 
identify their location when pushing or dumping material.
    12. Which technologies or systems can prevent highwall and dump 
point overtravel? Please describe the advantages, disadvantages, and 
costs associated with these technologies or systems.
    13. Many surface mines use GPS on equipment for tracking, 
dispatching, and positioning. How can these systems be used to provide 
equipment operators better information on their location with respect 
to highwall or dump points?
    14. What are the advantages, disadvantages, and costs associated 
with ground and aerial markers?

D. Autonomous Mobile Equipment

    15. Please identify the types of autonomous mobile equipment in use 
at surface mines.
    16. Please describe the advantages and disadvantages associated 
with autonomous mobile equipment.
    17. Please provide information related to any experience with 
testing or implementing autonomous mobile equipment, including costs 
and benefits.

E. Belt Conveyors

    18. What technologies are available that could provide additional 
protections from accidents related to working near or around belt 
conveyors? Can these technologies be used in surface and underground 
mines?
    19. Please provide information related to any experience with 
testing or implementing systems that sense a miner's presence in 
hazardous locations; ensure that machine guards are properly secured in 
place; and/or ensure machines are properly locked out and tagged out 
during maintenance. Please also include information and data on the 
costs and benefits associated with these systems.

F. Training and Technical Assistance

    20. Please provide suggestions on how training can increase 
seatbelt use and improve equipment operators' awareness of hazards at 
the mine site.
    21. Please provide suggestions on how training can ensure that 
miners lock and tag conveyor belts before performing maintenance work.

G. Benefits and Costs

    MSHA requests comment on the costs, benefits, and the technological 
and economic feasibility of suggested engineering controls to improve 
miners' safety. Your answers to these questions will help MSHA evaluate 
options and determine an appropriate course of action.

H. Other Information

    22. Please provide any data or information that may be useful to

[[Page 29719]]

MSHA to determine non-regulatory initiatives the Agency should explore.

    Authority: 30 U.S.C. 811, 813(h).

David G. Zatezalo,
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. 2018-13603 Filed 6-25-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4510-43-P