Senate Bill No. 325
Introduced By _______________________________________________________________________________
A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act prohibiting the Montana department of labor and industry from inspecting metallic and nonmetallic noncoal mines as long as the federal mine safety and health laws are implemented and enforced in Montana by the federal government; and amending sections 50-71-321, 50-72-201, and 50-72-202, MCA."
WHEREAS, since 1977, the United States has established a comprehensive program pursuant to the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (MSHA) to ensure the safety of mine workers in every state, including Montana; and
WHEREAS, with the maturation and full implementation of MSHA, the State of Montana mine safety program is now substantially duplicated by the federal program, which provides Montana mine workers with protection at least as comprehensive as protection afforded by current provisions of state law; and
WHEREAS, the Legislature desires to avoid needless duplication of public effort and the unnecessary expenditure of public funds; and
WHEREAS, the Legislature finds it appropriate to bring the state mine inspection program to an honorable conclusion, provided that duplication of effort with the federal mine inspection program continues to exist, recognizing that enforcement of MSHA by federal mine inspectors is comprehensive and sufficient enough to fully protect the health and safety of Montana mine workers; and
WHEREAS, recognizing that mine safety training is presently conducted at public expense with state and federal funds, it is the Legislature's desire and intent that mine safety training programs sufficient to meet the requirements of MSHA be made available by privately funded associations, such as the Montana Mining Association's training program.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:
Section 1. Section 50-71-321, MCA, is amended to read:
"50-71-321. Periodic inspections. (1) Except as provided in 50-72-201 and 50-72-202,
The the department shall inspect
from time to time all the places of employment defined in the Montana Workers' Compensation Act as being hazardous and
the machinery and appliances therein contained in those places of employment for the purpose of determining whether they
conform to law compliance.
(2) A report of
such a periodic inspection shall must be filed in the office of the department and a copy thereof of that
report must be given to the employer. Such The report shall may not be open to public inspection or made public except on
order of the department or by the department in the course of a hearing or proceeding."
Section 2. Section 50-72-201, MCA, is amended to read:
"50-72-201. Inspectors. As long as the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, 30 U.S.C. 801, et seq., is
administered and enforced with respect to metallic and nonmetallic mines in Montana by means that include regular
inspections of mines by federal inspectors, the department is not authorized to conduct inspections of those mines. If
regular inspections of Montana metallic and nonmetallic mines by federal inspectors in the enforcement of the federal act
are discontinued by federal action,
The the department shall is authorized to employ an adequate number of qualified metal
metallic and nonmetallic mine inspectors necessary for the enforcement of this chapter and shall prescribe their powers,
duties, and responsibilities."
Section 3. Section 50-72-202, MCA, is amended to read:
"50-72-202. Inspections and investigations -- when authorized. As long as the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of
1977 is administered and enforced with respect to metallic and nonmetallic mines in Montana by means that include regular
inspection of mines by federal inspectors, the department is not authorized to make inspections in those mines. If
inspections of Montana metallic and nonmetallic mines by federal inspectors in the enforcement of the federal act are
discontinued by federal action,
The the department is authorized at any time to cause to be made such make inspections and
investigations as it shall deem that are necessary in surface and underground mines which that are subject to this chapter:
(1) for the purpose of obtaining,
utilizing using, and disseminating information relating to health and safety conditions in
such mines, the causes of accidents involving bodily injury or loss of life, or the causes of occupational diseases originating
therein in surface and underground mines; and
(2) for the purpose of determining whether or not there is compliance with a health and safety standard or order issued under this chapter."