File No. 33300

This rule was published in the February 1, 2010, issue (Vol. 2010, No. 3) of the Utah State Bulletin.

Labor Commission, Boiler and Elevator Safety

Rule R616-4

Coal Mine Safety

Notice of Proposed Rule

(New Rule)

DAR File No.: 33300
Filed: 01/04/2010 08:14:35 AM


Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:

The purpose of the proposed rule is to: 1) define terms; 2) establish procedures under which the Utah Office of Coal Mine Safety will examine provisions made for health and safety in coal mines and respond to any unsafe conditions; 3) establish standards for reporting coal mine accidents to the Office of Coal Mine Safety; and 4) establish requirements for coal mine operators to conduct annual reviews of coal mine emergency response plans.

Summary of the rule or change:

Section R616-4-1 of the proposed rule states the purpose of the proposed rule and identifies the Labor Commission's statutory authority to promulgate the rule. Section R616-4-2 defines terms used in the rule or in the Coal Mine Safety Act. Section R616-4-3 describes the Office of Coal Mine Safetys authority to enter coal mines to examine conditions related to employee safety and health. This provision also explains the actions that will be taken if unsafe conditions are observed. Section R616-4-4 clarifies the timing of a coal mine operators obligation to notice the Office of Coal Mine Safety of any serious coal mine accident. Section R616-4-5 establishes a requirement that coal mine operators conduct annual reviews of emergency response plans with relevant law enforcement staff, medical personnel and, as practicable, the Office of Coal Mine Safety.

State statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:

  • Section 40-2-104
  • Subsection 40-20-301(2)

Anticipated cost or savings to:

the state budget:

The activities required by the proposed rule are already generally required by the Utah Coal Mine Safety Act and are already being performed by the Office of Coal Mine Safety. While the proposed rule provides some additional detail and explanation of such activities, the rule does not require any substantial additional action from the Office and will not result in any cost or savings to the state budget.

local governments:

Although proposed Section R616-4-5 requires coal mine operators to meet annually with local law enforcement and health care providers, such meetings are within the scope of existing law enforcement and health care provider responsibilities. It is not anticipated that such meetings will impose any appreciable burden or expense on local law enforcement and health care providers. More importantly, the meetings are expected to result in increased coordination and readiness that could reduce local government costs in the event of a coal mine accident. On balance, the Commission anticipates no cost or savings to local governments.

small businesses:

The coal mines subject to the proposed rule are large employers. The Commission does not expect the proposed rule to have any financial impact on small businesses.

persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local governmental entities:

The Commission is not aware of any other entities that will experience any financial impact from the proposed rule.

Compliance costs for affected persons:

The requirements of the proposed rule dovetail with, and augment, existing safety efforts by coal mine operators and the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Because the proposed rule does not impose any unique additional requirements, it will impose no compliance costs on affected persons.

Comments by the department head on the fiscal impact the rule may have on businesses:

Coal mine operators are already subject to MSHA inspection, accident reporting, and emergency planning requirements. The proposed rule allows the Utah Office of Coal Mine Safety to participate and monitor such matters but does not require any significant additional expenditure by the coal mine operators. Based on the information presented by the coal mine operators and other interested parties as this rule was discussed and developed, the Labor Commission believes the proposed rule will have no fiscal impact on businesses.

Sherrie Hayashi, Commissioner

The full text of this rule may be inspected, during regular business hours, at the Division of Administrative Rules, or at:

Labor Commission
Boiler and Elevator Safety
160 E 300 S
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84111-2316

Direct questions regarding this rule to:

  • Pete Hackford at the above address, by phone at 801-530-7605, by FAX at 801-530-6871, or by Internet E-mail at

Interested persons may present their views on this rule by submitting written comments to the address above no later than 5:00 p.m. on:


This rule may become effective on:


Authorized by:

Sherrie Hayashi, Commissioner


R616. Labor Commission, Boiler and Elevator Safety.

R616-4. Coal Mine Safety.

R616-4-1. Authority and Purpose.

This rule is established pursuant to authority granted the Commission by 40-2-104 and 40-2-301(2) for the purpose of improving coal mine safety, preventing coal mine accidents, and improving coal mine accident response consistent with the Coal Mine Safety Act.


R616-4-2. Definitions.

As used in this rule, the terms listed below shall have the same definition as set forth in the Coal Mine Safety Act, as follows.

(1) "Adverse action" means to take any of the following actions against a person in a manner that affects the person's employment or contractual relationships:

(a) discharge the person;

(b) threaten the person;

(c) coerce the person;

(d) intimidate the person; or

(e) discriminate against the person, including to discriminate in:

(i) compensation;

(ii) terms;

(iii) conditions;

(iv) location;

(v) rights;

(vi) immunities;

(vii) promotions; or

(viii) privileges.

(2) "Coal mine" means:

(a) the following used in extracting coal from its natural deposits in the earth by any means or method:

(i) the land;

(ii) a structure;

(iii) a facility;

(iv) machinery;

(v) a tool;

(vi) equipment;

(vii) a shaft;

(viii) a slope;

(ix) a tunnel;

(x) an excavation; and

(xi) other property; and

(b) the work of preparing extracted coal, including a coal preparation facility.

(3) "Commission" means the Labor Commission created in 34A-1-103.

(4) "Commissioner" means the commissioner appointed under 34A-1-201.

(5) "Council" means the Mine Safety Technical Advisory Council created in 40-2-203.

(6) "Director" means the Director of the Utah Office of Coal Mine Safety appointed under 40-2-202.

(7) "Major coal mine accident" means any of the following (but not limited too) at a coal mine located in Utah:

(a) a mine explosion;

(b) a mine fire;

(c) the flooding of a mine;

(d) a mine collapse; or

(e) the accidental death of an individual at a mine.

(8) "Mine Safety and Health Administration" and "MSHA" means the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration within the United States Department of Labor.

(9) "Office" means the Utah Office of Coal Mine Safety created in 40-2-201.

(10) "Unsafe condition" means a danger that reasonably could be expected to cause serious harm to a person or property.


R616-4-3. Examining Coal Mines.

(1) Pursuant to 34A-1-406 and other provisions of Utah Law, representatives of the Utah Labor Commission are authorized to enter places of employment, including coal mines, for purposes of "examining the provisions made for the health and safety of the employees in the place of employment."

(2) If the Director of the Office of Coal Mine Safety determines that the safety of an employee is or will be endangered by activities or conditions in a coal mine, the Director shall may:

(a) notify the employee and mine management of the danger and specify actions necessary to remedy the danger;

(b) notify the Mine Safety and Health Administration of the danger;

(c) notify other appropriate federal, state, and local government agencies; and

(d) take such other action as authorized by law to eliminate or mitigate the danger.


R616-4-4. Accident Notification Requirements.

(1) After the occurrence of any coal mine accident that is required by MSHA or regulations 30 CFR Part 50 to be immediately reported to MSHA, a coal mine operator shall first notify MSHA of the accident. Immediately after completing its report to MSHA, the coal mine operator shall then report the accident to the Office of Coal Mine Safety at telephone number 1-888-988-6463.


R616-4-5. Emergency Response Training.

(1) Beginning with the 2010 calendar year, each coal mine operator shall annually hold an in-person meeting with law enforcement, public safety and health care providers for the purpose of reviewing and refining coal mine emergency response plans. The Office of Coal Mine Safety shall be notified of and arrange to participate in each such meeting, but the inability of the Office or any local, state, and federal emergency response personnel to attend such a meeting shall not prevent the operator from proceeding with the meeting as scheduled.


KEY: coal mines, safety

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: 2010

Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: 40-2-104; 40-2-301(2)


Additional Information

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For questions regarding the content or application of this rule, please contact Pete Hackford at the above address, by phone at 801-530-7605, by FAX at 801-530-6871, or by Internet E-mail at