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Administration of the Mine Health and Safety Laws

James M. Day, Mine Health and Safety (1973)

First, as most of you are aware, last May Secretary Rogers Morton created the Mining Enforcement and Safety Administration as a separate organization to replace the Bureau of Mines as the Federal enforcement agency of these Acts. MESA, as it has come to be called, was organized to intensify and concentrate under one head the health and safety efforts of the Department to avoid any real or apparent conflict of interest.

MESA is now responsible for:

1.Coal Mine Health and Safety Inspections

2.Metal and Nonmetal Mine Health and Safety Inspections

3.Education and Training

4.Technical Support

5.Assessment and Compliance

Many of you are already familiar with these activities as former Bureau functions.

At this time, Coal Mine Health and Safety houses almost half of MESA's personnel — over 1500 inspectors and staff. The primary function of this unit is to conduct the four required complete health and safety inspections of each underground coal mine each year and one spot inspection of hazardous mines at least once every five working days. Also, it conducts at least two complete safety, and one complete health annual inspections, and as many inspections as required of surface coal mines to gain compliance with the Act.

I will not bore you with any statistics, comparisions or statements alleging that we are