June’s Rock Law column discussed how contractor risk-reduction programs help minimize operator liability. But what happens when your contractor doesn’t sense any urgency regarding the need for a documented risk reduction program? The short and simple answer is that your contractor may have its own liability under the Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977. The Mine Act creates liability for independent contractors who provide services to or perform construction at a mine. But it is not easy to determine when this separate liability exists. For the reasons explained below, your contractor should err to the side of caution, assume that it is subject to the Mine Act, and fully comply with the Mine Act and its regulations.
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Reprinted with permission from Aggregates Manager