The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has proposed a new substance abuse rule. The public comment period on the rule ended Oct.29, 2008. The goal of the rule is laudable— every miner has a right to work in a drug- and alcohol-free workplace. But the proposed rule, if implemented, will upend already-established drug and alcohol policies and programs, impose a “one-size-fits-all” program upon all mine operators, regardless of size, and require full compliance with the new standard within one year for new substance abuse programs, and within two years for existing programs. While the proposed rule is too long to address in detail in this article, a few illustrations will suffice to point out the seriousness with which mineoperators should take this proposed rule and to highlight the sweeping changes the rule will require.
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Reprinted with permission from Aggregates Manager