Willa Perlmutter has more than 30 years of experience as a litigator, focusing for the last 20 on defending mine operators across all sectors of the industry in administrative enforcement proceedings brought by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) for alleged violations of the Mine Act. In addition, she regularly counsels clients on a broad range of issues that affect their mining operations, from personnel policies and actions to compliance with a broad range of federal statutes. Willa regularly defends companies and individuals facing investigations and formal legal proceedings for alleged safety and health violations under both the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 and the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, whether those arise out of a catastrophic event, such as an accident, or in the course of a regular inspection by MSHA or Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). She has successfully defended a number of mining companies in whistleblower cases brought under the Mine Act.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) announced a new initiative to strengthen enforcement of its current respirable crystalline silica standards. Crystalline silica is a common mineral found in sand, stone, concrete, and other materials. When disturbed by cutting, grinding, or crushing, it becomes airborne and respirable, capable of … Continue Reading
Just a few short months ago, we would have thought that COVID-19 was almost behind us and that it was only a matter of time before mine operators would no longer have to worry about the spread of the disease at their worksites. It looked like face masks and vaccinations had done their jobs, and … Continue Reading
The Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission (“Commission”) announced that it intends to withdraw its simplified proceedings rule effective November 25, 2019. The Commission’s Federal Register announcement is found here. The simplified proceedings were originally published in a final rule by the Commission on December 28, 2010. The Commission’s intention was to streamline its … Continue Reading
On Monday, September 30, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reinstated an Obama-era rule imposing heightened requirements for health and safety workplace examinations in surface metal and nonmetal mines. The reinstatement represents yet another volley in an already protracted regulatory process spanning two presidential administrations and multiple lawsuits. The 2017 Obama-era rule, marking one … Continue Reading
On July 18, in Hopkins County Coal, LLC v. Perez, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued an opinion upholding two citations and an order issued to a mine operator, Hopkins County Coal, for its refusal to turn over certain personnel records requested by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) during … Continue Reading
On January 23, and for the first time in nearly 40 years, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (“MSHA”) issued new rules governing the way in which metal/non-metal mine operators must conduct their regular workplace examinations. A Final Rule on “Examinations of Working Places in Metal and Nonmetal Mines” was published in the Federal Register … Continue Reading