Within MSHA’s oversight programs, agency officials are reviewing all aspects of practices during sampling procedures at mining operations. These include inspecting mine facilities while ensuring equipment is stored and serviced by certified individuals who properly maintain and calibrate sampling devices as prescribed by 30 C.F.R. Parts 70, 71 and 90.

Under the regimen, operators and contractors are citable for neglecting to properly examine and maintain equipment and sample collection within a regulatory framework. MSHA may also revoke certifications if proscribed procedures are unmet.

Among other requirements, MSHA mandates that if a device be transported inside a mine where work exceeding an 8-hour shift is under way, the machine can be handled only by a certified person. Those certified meanwhile, may not conduct any maintenance work on approved devices, such as replacing battery packs or pump inlet filters.

MSHA officials add they may cite operators or contractors for devices not maintained as approved, unless it is identified as “out of service.” Further requirements mandate collection must also take place during a shift in which production equals 50% or more of the previous bi-monthly production or, in designated area or surface sampling, where normal day-to-day mining activities are occurring.