Detailed Information on the
Mine Safety and Health Administration Assessment

Program Code 10001101
Program Title Mine Safety and Health Administration
Department Name Department of Labor
Agency/Bureau Name Mine Safety and Health Administration
Program Type(s) Regulatory-based Program
Assessment Year 2003
Assessment Rating Adequate
Assessment Section Scores
Section Score
Program Purpose & Design 60%
Strategic Planning 89%
Program Management 73%
Program Results/Accountability 40%
Program Funding Level
(in millions)
FY2007 $302
FY2008 $334
FY2009 $332

Ongoing Program Improvement Plans

Year Began Improvement Plan Status Comments

Implementing the provisions of the MINER Act of 2006.

Action taken, but not completed MSHA 2008 actions: Published final rule on Mine Rescue Teams on February 8; published final rule on Sealing of Abandoned Areas on April 18; observed 49 communications or tracking systems at mines as of May 28; fully approved 559 Emergency Response Plans as of June 9; published proposed rule on Refuge Alternatives on June 16; and published proposed rule on the Recommendations of the Technical Study Panel on June 19. Rulemaking will continue through December 2008.

Completing 100% of the required inspections (2 annually for above ground mines and 4 annually for underground mines).

Action taken, but not completed Since the 100% Initiative was launched on October 1, 2007, all mandated regular inspections for the first half of the year have been completed (in both coal and metal and nonmetal), and the Mine Safety and Health Administration is firmly on target to meet its requirements moving forward.

Deploying a new Web tool which allows mining companies to review their history and how assessments are broken down. Tool will be available via the MSHA Data Retrieval System on a mine-by-mine basis.

Action taken, but not completed MSHA activated a new website feature that provides additional tools for mine safety stakeholders to assess mine safety performance. The addition to MSHA's Data Retrieval System will enable users to access specific data about violations per inspection day and repeat violations of the same standard. The violation per inspection day tool allows operators to gauge mine safety performance and initiate improvements. MSHA will explore possibilities to enhance the tool, to include controller searches.

Completed Program Improvement Plans

Year Began Improvement Plan Status Comments

Continuing targeted enforcement and compliance assistance actions at high-risk mines beyond the requirements of the Mine Act with initiatives such as the Cooperative Accident Reduction Effort.

Completed MSHA has conducted over 3568 targeted enforcement and compliance assistance actions at high-risk mines beyond the requirements of the Mine Act with initiatives such as the Cooperative Accident Reduction Effort (CARE). Examples of these enforcement events.

Including an analysis of the costs and benefits of major regulatory alternatives in the agency's Regulatory Impact Analyses for proposed regulations.

Completed MSHA is considering alternatives in its regulatory economic analysis for final rules on Sealing Abandoned Areas and Mine Rescue Teams. In the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on Seals, MSHA prepared an analysis of the cost of two alternatives regarding seal application approval. MSHA considered and included alternatives in the preamble to the ETS without a cost analysis. In the Mine Rescue Teams proposed rule, MSHA considered and included alternatives in the preamble without a cost analysis.

Developing efficiency and cost-effectiveness measures for a larger percentage of the agency's budget.

Completed MSHA has adopted a new efficiency measure for coal mine inspections per coal enforcement personnel FTE. The measure will track the yearly number of regular (mandatory) coal mine inspections per coal mine enforcement personnel with Authorized Representative cards.

Program Performance Measures

Term Type  
Long-term Outcome

Measure: Mine industry fatalities per 200,000 hours worked.

Explanation:This measure tracks MSHA's annual performance in reducing the fatal injury incidence rate (per 200,000 hours worked by mine employees). This rate reflects the number of fatalities as well as the amount of time miners are exposed to potential hazards.

Year Target Actual
2003 N/A 0.0219
2004 .0222 .017
2005 .0215 .0182
2006 .0208 .026
2007 .0201 .0197
2008 .0191
2009 .0187
2010 .0184
2011 .0180
2012 .0176
2013 .0172
Long-term Outcome

Measure: Mine industry injuries per 200,000 hours worked.

Explanation:This measure tracks MSHA's annual performance in reducing the all-injury incidence rate (per 200,000 hours worked by mine employees). Rates of injury are recognized as the most reliable index of safety progress. The rates reflect not only the number of fatalities and injuries but also the amount of time miners are exposed to potential hazards.

Year Target Actual
2003 N/A 4.27
2004 3.87 4.07
2005 3.48 3.93
2006 3.13 3.65
2007 2.82 3.50
2008 3.41
2009 3.34
2010 3.28
2011 3.21
2012 3.15
2013 3.09
Annual Output

Measure: Percent of respirable coal mine dust samples exceeding the applicable standard (for designated occupations).

Explanation:MSHA's performance in reducing miner's exposure to respirable coal mine dust is measured by sampling those Designated Occupations (DO) in coal mines determined to have the greatest respirable dust concentrations. The DO concept is based on the reasoning that if the environment of those whose exposure is the greatest complies with the applicable dust standard, then the environment of all employees in the work group will comply. The regulations identify the DO in each of the ten common mining systems.

Year Target Actual
2003 14.2% 11.7%
2004 11.1% 10.2%
2005 10.1% 10.8%
2006 9.5% 11.3%
2007 9.0% 12.20%
2008 11.50%
2009 11.27%
2010 11.04%
2011 10.82%
2012 10.60%
2013 10.39%
Annual Output

Measure: Percent of silica dust samples taken with a result that is less than half of the exposure limit in metal and nonmetal mines.

Explanation:This measure tracks MSHA's annual performance in reducing the percentage of silica dust samples exceeding the applicable standards.

Year Target Actual
2005 Baseline 83.7
2006 82.9% 79.7%
2007 75.5% 31.82%
2008 31.18%
2009 30.56%
2010 29.95%
2011 29.35%
2012 28.77%
2013 28.19%
Annual Output

Measure: Percent of noise samples taken with a result that is less than half the exposure limit in metal and nonmetal mines.

Explanation:The mine operator must assure that no miner is exposed to noise that exceeds the permissible exposure level. If during any work shift a miner's noise exposure exceeds the permissible exposure level, the mine operator must use all feasible engineering and administrative controls to reduce the miner's noise exposure to the permissible exposure level. This measure indicates the success of MSHA inspectors in controlling noise hazards by identifying fewer and fewer noise samples which show overexposures The idea behind this measure is that MSHA inspectors will identify overexposures and consequently the mine operators will seek to abate these noise hazards resulting in more miner protection.

Year Target Actual
2005 Baseline 79.1%
2006 75.1% 75.7%
2007 71.3% 65.54%
2008 64.23%
2009 62.95%
2010 61.69%
2011 60.46%
2012 59.25%
2013 58.07%
Annual Output

Measure: Percent of noise exposures above the citation level in coal mines.

Explanation:Coal noise samples are taken in active areas of the mine, repair shop, or preparation facility (e.g. where continuous, conventional, longwall, surface mining, coal processing, or equipment repair is occurring). MSHA measures the effectiveness of its efforts to reduce miner overexposure to noise and hence prevent hearing loss by continually reducing miner overexposures identified by the samples taken in coal mines.

Year Target Actual
2005 Baseline 5.3%
2006 5.0% 4.40%
2007 4.8% 3.70%
2008 3.59%
2009 3.52%
2010 3.52%
2011 3.45%
2012 3.38%
2013 3.31%
Annual Efficiency

Measure: Regular (mandatory) inspections per coal mine inspectors with Authorized Representative (AR) Cards.

Explanation:This efficiency measure is based on the number of regular (mandatory) inspections completed for the fiscal year divided by the number of MSHA coal mine inspector FTE. Mandatory coal mine inspections are conducted twice yearly for surface mines and four times yearly for underground mines. Under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, only fully accredited inspectors (Authorized Representatives or ARs) have the authority to conduct inspections and issue citations. When inspector-trainees are hired, they must complete extensive training at the Mine Health and Safety Academy in Beckley, WV, in addition to fulfilling on-the-job training requirements, before becoming Authorized Representatives.

Year Target Actual
2007 Baseline 8.9
2008 9.0
2009 9.2
2010 9.4

Questions/Answers (Detailed Assessment)

Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design
Number Question Answer Score

Is the program purpose clear?

Explanation: The mission of the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is clear - to protect the safety and health of the Nation's miners as outlined in the Federal Mine Safety & Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act)

Evidence: Mine Act (Pub. L. 95-164, www.msha.gov/REGS/ACT/ACTTC.HTM); MSHA FY 2003 Performance Plan (www.msha.gov/MSHAINFO/PerfPlan/Plan2003.pdf).

YES 20%

Does the program address a specific and existing problem, interest, or need?

Explanation: Since the Mine Act was passed 25 years ago, "...mine fatalities have dropped by two-thirds, serious injuries have been halved and cases of black lung disease have fallen to a fraction of what they used to be." However, in FY 2002, there were 71 fatal accidents. The fatality rate for the mining industry in FY 2002 was higher than any other major industry classification in the U.S. There were also 3.15 non-fatal injuries per 200,000 hours worked in FY 2002.

Evidence: MSHA Strategic Plan FY03-08 (www.msha.gov/MSHAINFO/STRAPLAN/STRAPLAN.PDF); National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2002 (www.bls.gov/iif/oshcfoi1.htm).

YES 20%

Is the program designed so that it is not redundant or duplicative of any Federal, state, local or private effort?

Explanation: MSHA's program does not duplicate efforts of other Federal and State programs. There are several State inspection programs; however, they have different standards and are not tied to the Federal program. MSHA works cooperatively with other federal agencies with safety mandates. For example: MSHA uses the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's (NIOSH) expertise in enforcement and standards development. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) performs asbestos analysis for MSHA.

Evidence: MSHA-NIOSH Memoranda of Understanding; MSHA-OSHA Memoranda of Understanding

YES 20%

Is the program design free of major flaws that would limit the program's effectiveness or efficiency?

Explanation: The Mine Act limits MSHA's ability to allocate resources by requiring that the Agency conduct 4 inspections of underground mines annually and 2 inspections of surface mines annually. Although MSHA has been effective in reducing the number of mining related fatalities and injuries through its mandatory inspection programs, further reductions may not occur without altering MSHA's ability to target high risk mines, which would entail changes to the Mine Act or additional budgetary resources. MSHA needs to have increased flexibility to target mines with high numbers of safety violations and to provide more compliance assistance to mines. DOL's "Freedom to Manage" submission in FY2001 proposed that the Administration modify the Mine Act's inspection quotas in order to allow MSHA increased flexibility to 1) assign inspectors where they are needed most, and 2) conduct non-penalty compliance assistance. Certain provisions of the Mine Act, however, allow inspections to be successful, especially the ability to conduct inspections without a warrant or advanced notice. MSHA believes that the Mine Act and Supreme Court decisions (including the "Cotton Dust" case, American Textile Manufacturers Institute v. Donovan (452 US 490, 1981) bar them from conducting costbenefit analyses. This limits their ability todecisions that maximize net benefits. Working with these restrictions, MSHA has developed special inspection and compliance assistance approaches to target high risk mines and mining conditions. The Agency also may develop more focused approaches to its general inspection program to supplement its mandated inspections.

Evidence: Mine Act (Pub. L. 95-164, www.msha.gov/REGS/ACT/ACTTC.HTM); Compliance Assistance Webpage (www.msha.gov/complianceassistance.htm).

NO 0%

Is the program effectively targeted, so program resources reach intended beneficiaries and/or otherwise address the program's purpose directly?

Explanation: MSHA's ability to prioritize and target its resources to reach intended beneficiaries is limited by the Mine Act's requirement that MSHA conduct 4 inspections/year at underground mines and 2/year at surface mines. MSHA cannot select mines for mandated inspections based on the mines' accident histories or safety records. Although a large proportion of MSHA's resources are needed to meet the Mine Act's mandates, MSHA has recently sought public comment on how to best maximize the effectiveness of available resources to protect miners while focusing inspection resources. MSHA has used its available resources to address emerging safety and health issues. For example, in response to data that indicated that small mines have significantly higher fatality rates, MSHA recently created a Small Mine Office that provides compliance assistance specifically to small mines. In addition, MSHA established the Tri-State initiative, Safe Work Initiatives, and other safety campaigns in response to specific safety and health concerns. Although MSHA has taken steps to maximize the use of available resources toward emerging health and safety issues, the agency's ability to target high risk mines will improve only with significant modifications to the Mine Act or additional budgetary resources.

Evidence: DOL Annual Report FY 2002, pp.90-92 (www.dol.gov/_sec/media/reports/annual2002/); Mine Safety & Health Administration Small Mine Office.

NO 0%
Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design Score 60%
Section 2 - Strategic Planning
Number Question Answer Score

Does the program have a limited number of specific long-term performance measures that focus on outcomes and meaningfully reflect the purpose of the program?

Explanation: MSHA has specific long-term performance measures tied to DOL's strategic goals and MSHA's purpose. In FY '03, the Agency refined its measure for reducing fatalities. Two of their measures are outcome while the others are output. The output measures allow MSHA to evaluate whether they are having a positive impact on factors that contribute to illnesses that have long latency periods. (Black Lung Disease and Silicosis). Sound baseline data has been developed for each measure. MSHA has begun exploring possible efficiency measures.

Evidence: MSHA Strategic Plan FY03-08 (www.msha.gov/MSHAINFO/STRAPLAN/STRAPLAN.PDF); DOL Annual Report 2002, pp.88-95 (www.dol.gov/_sec/media/reports/annual2002/).

YES 11%

Does the program have ambitious targets and timeframes for its long-term measures?

Explanation: MSHA has two primary targets: Reduce Mine Fatalities and Injuries and Reduce Miners' Exposure to Health Hazards. Within these two targets are five specific, ambitious sub-targets. These targets are tied to the Department's strategic goal of Fostering Quality Workplaces that are Safe, Healthy and Fair. MSHA recently revised the targets to make them more meaningful to the desired outcome - preventing mining related fatalities, injuries and illnesses.

Evidence: MSHA Performance Plans (www.msha.gov/MSHAINFO/PerfPlan/Plan2003.pdf), DOL Strategic Plan draft (www.dol.gov/_sec/stratplan-draft/stratplan2003-draft.htm), DOL Annual Report FY 2002 (www.dol.gov/_sec/media/reports/annual2002/).

YES 11%

Does the program have a limited number of specific annual performance measures that demonstrate progress toward achieving the program's long-term measures?

Explanation: MSHA has interim annual performance measures that are the same as their long-term performance measures. The measures determine progress toward reaching the long-term targets.

Evidence: MSHA Performance Plans (www.msha.gov/MSHAINFO/PerfPlan/Plan2003.pdf), DOL Annual Report 2002 (www.dol.gov/_sec/media/reports/annual2002/).

YES 11%

Does the program have baselines and ambitious targets and timeframes for its annual measures?

Explanation: MSHA has annual performance targets that are specific and quantifiable and have baseline data. In FY '03, the Agency refined the measure for reducing fatalities.

Evidence: MSHA Performance Plans (www.msha.gov/MSHAINFO/PerfPlan/Plan2003.pdf), DOL Annual Report 2002 (www.dol.gov/_sec/media/reports/annual2002/).

YES 11%

Do all partners (including grantees, sub-grantees, contractors, cost-sharing partners, etc.) commit to and work toward the annual and/or long-term goals of the program?

Explanation: MSHA has many active partnerships with industry, labor, and the States. For example, MSHA issues grants to organizations to provide training for the mining industry. The purpose of the training grants is outlined in the award documents. A letter sent to potential grantees outlines MSHA's goals specifically. MSHA requires applicants to identify costs and benefits and provide quantitative projections of the accomplishments to be achieved. Applications are evaluated in part on the grantee's presentation of the program's effectiveness and efficiency and how the grantee targets small mines. Other MSHA partners also support the Agency's goals. MSHA recently established a partnership with several state agencies. That partnership sets specific goals that match MSHA's goals.

Evidence: Letter to Potential Grantee, Grant Guidance, Guidelines for Conducting Program Personnel Interviews, Tri-State Initiative; Georgia Dept. of Technical and Adult Education Mine Safety and Health Training Program Narrative includes: "The purpose of the Georgia Mine Safety and Health Training Program is to assist the mining industry with its training and retraining of miners to prevent fatalities and to prevent or reduce the frequency and severity of injuries in the Georgia Mining Industry." This grant application uses measures that very closely mirror MSHA's measures on (injury) incidence rates.

YES 11%

Are independent and quality evaluations of sufficient scope and quality conducted on a regular basis or as needed to support program improvements and evaluate effectiveness and relevance to the problem, interest, or need?

Explanation: MSHA has been evaluated by GAO and DOL's OIG. GAO and OIG reports contain recommendations on how MSHA can improve performance. MSHA has responded to all review findings and implemented recommendations. The Agency uses the planning process as one way of implementing evaluation recommendations. MSHA has contracted for an outside evaluation of the Agency's inspection process. This evaluation is currently in process and will be finished by July 30, 2003.

Evidence: DOL Annual Report FY 2002 (www.dol.gov/_sec/media/reports/annual2002/), Evaluation of the Department of Labor's Fleet Management Program (OIG Report No. 2E-07-711-0001, March 2002); Study of Metal/Nonmetal Mining Enforcement and Compliance Assistance Activities, 1983-2000 (OIG Report No. 2E-06-620-0003, Sept. 2001); Evaluation of MSHA's Handling of Inspections at the W.R. Grace & Company Mine in Libby, Montana (OIG Report No. 2E-06-620-0002, March 2001); Evaluation of Hazard Complaint Handling in MSHA's Office of Metal/Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health (OIG Report No. 2E-06-620-0001, March 2001); Review of Mine Safety and Health Administration's Technical Expertise in Approving and Certifying Mining Equipment (OIG Report No. 2E-06-001-0005, Sept. 1999); Mine Safety and Health Administration: Implementation of the Inflation Adjustment Act (GAO-03-2884, Nov. 2002); Implementation of Selected Agencies' Civil Penalty Relief Policies for Small Entities (GAO-01-280, Feb. 2001) Information Security: Software Change Controls at the Dept. of Labor (GAO/AIMD-00-192R, June 2000)

YES 11%

Are Budget requests explicitly tied to accomplishment of the annual and long-term performance goals, and are the resource needs presented in a complete and transparent manner in the program's budget?

Explanation: MSHA, as well as all of DOL, is "... not in compliance with the requirements for managerial cost accounting. ..DOL does not use managerial cost information for purposes of performance measurement, planning, budgeting or forecasting...costs are not captured and reported at the level required and there is not in place an integrated system that can be used by managers to manage DOL programs on a day-to-day basis..." MSHA has made progress in this area. The Agency's FY 2004 budget request aligned performance goals with budget requests. MSHA has been recognized with the Secretary's Honor Award for Performance Based Budget.

Evidence: DOL Annual Report FY 2002 (www.dol.gov/_sec/media/reports/annual2002/).

NO 0%

Has the program taken meaningful steps to correct its strategic planning deficiencies?

Explanation: MSHA includes stakeholders and field staff in the strategic planning process. MSHA has used stakeholder input to develop enforcement and compliance assistance strategies. When a Sept. 2001 OIG audit found that MSHA's outcome performance goals did not require significant reductions in injuries and fatalities, the Agency responded by establishing new goals that are specific, challenging and focus on reducing fatalities and nonfatal injuries.

Evidence: Records of stakeholder meetings; MSHA Strategic Plan draft (www.dol.gov/_sec/stratplan-draft/stratplan2003-draft.htm); The Mine Safety and Health Administration in The Twenty-first Century; Study of Metal/Nonmetal Mining Enforcement and Compliance Assistance Activities, 1983-2000 (OIG Report No. 2E-06-620-0003, Sept. 2001)

YES 11%

Are all regulations issued by the program/agency necessary to meet the stated goals of the program, and do all regulations clearly indicate how the rules contribute to achievement of the goals?

Explanation: MSHA has addressed updating regulations through its Improving and Eliminating Regulations Initiative. MSHA has reviewed its existing regulations to identify opportunities to replace outdated or unnecessarily burdensome regulations with less costly and/or more protective requirements. For examples, MSHA had reviewed regulations on high-voltage longwall, belt entry, independent laboratories, seat belts, sanitary toilets and battery plug locks. MSHA also plans to hire a contractor to review regulations and devise a method for prioritizing regulations for lookback reviews. Preambles of MSHA rules cite the specific section of the Mine Act that authorizes the Agency's action and how the rule contributes to achieving the goals of the Mine Act.

Evidence: Improving and Eliminating Regulations, 30 CFR 1 to 199; Statement of Work-Develop Methodology and Strategies to Evaluate Effectiveness of MSHA's Regulations

YES 11%
Section 2 - Strategic Planning Score 89%
Section 3 - Program Management
Number Question Answer Score

Does the agency regularly collect timely and credible performance information, including information from key program partners, and use it to manage the program and improve performance?

Explanation: Mine operators report accidents, injuries and illnesses when they occur. These reports are submitted to MSHA within 10 days of the occurrence. Fatalities are reported immediately. Work hours and production data is reported quarterly. MSHA uses its management information system to record and analyze this data and to measure its performance against annual and long-term targets. Reports on this data provide management with information they use to monitor and adjust program operations. For example: In response to underground mine fires associated with belt conveyors, MSHA initiated a program to conduct inspections focusing on conveyor belts. This program resulted in the correction of safety violations.

Evidence: MSHA Forms 7000-1 and 7000-2; Mine Accident, Injury, Illness, Employment Production System; Coal and Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety Health Management Information System.

YES 9%

Are Federal managers and program partners (grantees, subgrantees, contractors, cost-sharing partners, etc.) held accountable for cost, schedule and performance results?

Explanation: DOL ties performance ratings for managers and supervisors to the achievement of Departmental and program-specific goals and outcomes; employees are aligned on a fiscal year cycle to help cascade standards to non-supervisory personnel, and a system accountability review is planned for 2004. State grant recipients must achieve annual program goals. MSHA monitors state programs with on-site reviews that evaluate the grantee's performance against the goals of the grant. The Agency conducts 8-10 on-site reviews each year. During these reviews, MSHA talks to miners to obtain feedback on the training being provided by the grantee. Recommendations are made, and MSHA follows up with the grantee, either by telephone or in person, to check on the progress of implementing recommendations. Grantees submit Technical Progress Reports at Mid-Year and at Year-End. These reports show the number and category of miners who have been trained as well as other accomplishments.

Evidence: Revised Performance Management Plans for Senior Executives (Form DL 1-2059, Rev. 10/2001) and for Supervisors and Managers (Form DL 1-382, Rev. 10/2001); briefings by DOL staff; and DOL goals supporting the Human Capital Initiative of the President's Management Agenda; State Grant Financial Status Reports; State Grant Recipient Program Reviews; Mid-Year and End-Year Technical Progress Reviews

YES 9%

Are all funds (Federal and partners') obligated in a timely manner and spent for the intended purpose?

Explanation: MSHA consistently obligates within 1/10 of 1 % of its available funding. MSHA uses DOL accounting reports to produce monthly financial reviews. Agency managers use these reviews to monitor spending. Grantees submit financial status reports to MSHA for review.

Evidence: OIG audit; DOL Annual Financial Statement; U.S. Treasurer's Report

YES 9%

Does the program have procedures (e.g., competitive sourcing/cost comparisons, IT improvements, approporaite incentives) to measure and achieve efficiencies and cost effectiveness in program execution?

Explanation: MSHA does not yet have operational efficiency or cost-effectiveness measures and targets. They have established internal goals to promote efficiency and effectiveness in the areas of competitive sourcing and workers compensation costs.

Evidence: FY 2003 MSHA Performance Plan (www.msha.gov/MSHAINFO/PerfPlan/Plan2003.pdf).

NO 0%

Does the program collaborate and coordinate effectively with related programs?

Explanation: MSHA collaborates with other federal agencies, with state agencies and with private organizations. MSHA has: implemented MOU's with OSHA and with NIOSH, established cooperative agreements with states; and developed an innovative partnership with an industry association. MSHA has also collaborated with related programs in other countries. MSHA is frequently asked to assist other countries with mine safety programs. For example: A partnership between MSHA and the Ukraine is credited with reducing "mortal traumatism" in Ukrainian mines by 10% during the last year.

Evidence: OSHA and NIOSH MOUs; Alliance Agreement with National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA): Purpose to promote safe and healthful working conditions for stone, sand and gravel workers by embracing mine safety and health performance goals with objective metrics, providing NSSGA members with information, education and training and technical assistance to help them prevent injuries and illnesses and expanding outreach and communications on mine safety and health matters. Agreement signed 2/11/03; DOL Strategic Plan; Letter from The State Committee of Ukraine for Supervising Over Protection of Labor (February 12, 2003)

YES 9%

Does the program use strong financial management practices?

Explanation: MSHA's financial practices are in conformance with accounting practices and comply with Federal financial management systems.

Evidence: DOL OIG audit; Financial Statement July 2002

YES 9%

Has the program taken meaningful steps to address its management deficiencies?

Explanation: MSHA has a system in place to identify and correct management deficiencies. All levels of the organization are subject to accountability review using an Accountability Program Handbook. The Handbook outlines a review process that assesses if offices are complying with the Agency's policies and prcedures. Managers respond to deficiencies with written plans to implement corrective action. Spot reviews are used to assure that corrective actions have been completed. MSHA also uses internal reviews to assess its performance and make adjustments after mining accidents. For example: As a result of a recent internal review, MSHA strengthened its accountability process and improved training for inspectors. MSHA has implemented OIG and GAO recommendations. MSHA has begun considering potential efficiency measures.

Evidence: MSHA Accountability Program Handbook; Internal Review of MSHA's Actions At the Big Branch Refuse Impoundment Martin County Coal Corporation, Inez, Martin County, Kentucky (January 21, 2003); Internal Review of MSHA's Actions at the No. 5 Mine Jim Walter Resources, Inc. Brookwood, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama (January 23, 2003)

YES 9%

Did the program seek and take into account the views of all affected parties (e.g., consumers; large and small businesses; State, local and tribal governments; beneficiaries; and the general public) when developing significant regulations?

Explanation: MSHA actively solicits the opinions of affected parties on all signifiant regulations. The agency analyzes the input and incorporates suggestions or explains why suggestions were not incorporated.

Evidence: Requests for comments; Preambles of Final Rules; Regulatory Impact Analyses

YES 9%

Did the program prepare adequate regulatory impact analyses if required by Executive Order 12866, regulatory flexibility analyses if required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act and SBREFA, and cost-benefit analyses if required under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act; and did those analyses comply with OMB guidelines?

Explanation: MSHA prepares Regulatory Impact Analyses (RIAs) for all rulemaking activities. The RIAs describe the need for the rulemaking, itemize costs, and discuss benefits. The RIAs do not include cost-benefit or cost-effectiveness analysis, do not present detailed analysis of alternative regulatory approaches and thus do not comport with OMB guidelines. MSHA believes that a Supreme Court decision on OSHA health standards bars them from doing cost-benefit analysis. The Court decision does not prohibit cost-effectiveness analysis or analysis of regulatory alternatives. The quality of MSHA regulations, and the public's ability to assess regulatory proposals, could be improved by using these analytic tools to inform rulemaking decisions.

Evidence: Mine Act; American Textile Manufacturers Institute v. Donovan (452 US 490, 1981); EO 12866; Economic Analysis of Federal Regulations Under EO 12866, January 11, 1996; OMB Memo 00-08-Guidelines to Standardize Measures of Costs and Benefits and the Format of Accounting Statements

NO 0%

Does the program systematically review its current regulations to ensure consistency among all regulations in accomplishing program goals?

Explanation: The Mine Act prohibits MSHA from taking any regulatory action that reduces protection to miners. MSHA looks for opportunities within this statutory framework to reduce regulatory burden without reducing miner protections. MSHA routinely reviews petitions for modification of mandatory safety standards to identify standards that need to be updated. Senior MSHA management reviews the Agency's regulatory agenda semi-annually to identify and address regulatory gaps or problems. MSHA has also requested Departmental funding to develop a formal review process as well as strategies to evaluate the effectiveness of all regulations related to mine worker safety and health.

Evidence: Statement of Work-Develop Methodology and Strategies to Evaluate Effectiveness of MSHA's Regulations

YES 9%

Are the regulations designed to achieve program goals, to the extent practicable, by maximizing the net benefits of its regulatory activity?

Explanation: The Mine Act requires MSHA regulations to maximize miner protections, not net benefits. MSHA does, within this statutory framework, seek to minimize compliance burden and allow alternative methods of compliance. For example, MSHA has allowed mines to file compliance information electronically. However, there is no evidence that MSHA regulatory activities maximize net benefits. MSHA evaluates the costs and benefits of each regulation separately, RIAs do not assess how each additional regulation adds to the cumulative effect of regulatory requirements on the mining industry.

Evidence: Regulatory Impact Analyses

NO 0%
Section 3 - Program Management Score 73%
Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability
Number Question Answer Score

Has the program demonstrated adequate progress in achieving its long-term outcome performance goals?

Explanation: MSHA has made progress in reducing fatality and injury rates. The all-injury rate incidence rate of 4.27 was an all time low, which represents a further continuation of yearly reductions in the all-injury rate since FY 1999. Reduce fatal injury incidence rate to .0184; Reduce all-injury incidence rate to 2.54. Reduce percentage of coal dust samples exceeding standards to 11.12; Reduce percentage of silica samples exceeding standards to 6.18; Reduce noise exposures above the citation level to 4.56.

Evidence: DOL Annual Report FY 2003 (www.dol.gov/_sec/media/reports/annual2003/);MSHA PART 50 database; MSHA FY 2003 Performance Plan (www.msha.gov/MSHAINFO/PerfPlan/Plan2003.pdf);DOL Annual Report FY 2002 (www.dol.gov/_sec/media/reports/annual2002/). Fatal Injury Incidence Rate: FY '00 =.028, FY '02=.024, All-injury Rate: FY '00 (baseline year)=5.07, FY '02=4.57 Coal Dust Samples Exceeding Standards: In FY '02 (baseline year)= 15%, Silica Exposures Exceeding Standards: FY '02 (baseline year) = 9%. Noise Exposures Above the Citation Level: FY '00-'01 (baseline years) =9.3%, FY '02=5.8%.

YES 20%

Does the program (including program partners) achieve its annual performance goals?

Explanation: MSHA's goals are very ambitious. REDUCING FATALITIES: FY '03-Measure for reducing fatalities refined. MSHA did not meet fatal and all-injury incidence rates in FY 2003. However, 2003 rates for both measures were lowest recorded in MSHA's history. FY ' 02-Did not meet the previous target of reducing fatalities by 15%; however, fatalities were reduced by 5.3%, and actual number of fatalities was the lowest number ever recorded. FY '01-Exceeded target of reducing fatalities to below the average of the previous five years. REDUCING INJURIES: FY '03 - On target to meet goal of a 9.3% reduction in the all injury incidence rate. FY '02 - Did not meet goal of reducing nonfatal injury incidence rate by 17%; however, the rate was reduced by 8.9%. FY '01-Exceeded target of reducing the non-fatal injury rate to below the average for the previous five years. REDUCING COAL DUST, SILICA AND NOISE EXPOSURES: FY '03-On target to meet goals. FY '02 -Did not meet coal dust goal, but met silica and noise goals. FY '01 -Met goals for coal and silica. Reducing noise exposures was a new goal in FY 02.

Evidence: DOL Annual Report FY 2003 (www.dol.gov/_sec/media/reports/annual2003/);MSHA PART 50 database; DOL Annual Report FY 2002 (www.dol.gov/_sec/media/reports/annual2002/); DOL Annual Report FY 2001; MSHA 2003 Performance Plan www.msha.gov/MSHAINFO/PerfPlan/Plan2003.pdf).


Does the program demonstrate improved efficiencies or cost effectiveness in achieving program performance goals each year?

Explanation: MSHA does not currently have cost-effectiveness or efficiency measures or targets. They have taken steps to improve efficiency by re-directing management FTE to front line offices, consolidating or closing field offices and restructuring divisions. The Safety Divisions in Coal and Metal/Nonmetal Divisions have been re-structured to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

Evidence: DOL Annual Report FY 2002 (www.dol.gov/_sec/media/reports/annual2002/); MSHA 2003 Performance Plan (www.msha.gov/MSHAINFO/PerfPlan/Plan2003.pdf); Compliance Assistance Plan

NO 0%

Does the performance of this program compare favorably to other programs, including government, private, etc., that have similar purpose and goals?

Explanation: MSHA and OSHA have similar missions and goals; however, their differing statutory frameworks and jurisdictions do not allow for comparisons of their performance. For example: MSHA's jurisdiction is limited to one industry, and the statute mandates the number of inspections MSHA conducts per mine. OSHA has jurisdiction over a larger population, and the statute allows for the Agency to select where inspections are conducted. State mine inspection programs also operate under different statutory fromeworks and jurisdictions and have different goals and measures. There is some data available from other countries with mine inspection programs. For example: For every million tons of coal produced, China had 182 times as many reported mining fatalities as the U.S. However, information on the elements of mine safety programs in other countries is not currently available. Therefore, making a comparison of the performance of these programs is not possible.

Evidence: San Diego Union Tribune (June 20, 2000)

NA 0%

Do independent and quality evaluations of this program indicate that the program is effective and achieving results?

Explanation: No comprehensive evaluation has been conducted regarding the impact and effectiveness of all MSHA programs. A limited independent evaluation is currently in process but has not been completed. MSHA has been the subject of several OIG and GAO reports and also conducts its own internal reviews. One OIG Report stated that MSHA has been successful in improving the safety and health of miners. The report also concluded that improvements were needed in the characteristics of MSHA's enforcement and compliance assistance activities. The OIG noted in the FY 2002 DOL Annual Report that the effectiveness of Mine Safety and Health Programs is one of ten management challenges facing the Department in FY 2003. However, the OIG also noted in this same report that MSHA has taken significant steps toward addressing the recommendations that led to this assessment. MSHA has implemented the recommendations of the OIG and GAO reports as well as its own internal reviews.

Evidence: OIG Report No. 2E-06-620-0003 dated 9/26/01-Study of Metal/Nonmetal Mining Enforcement and Compliance Assistance Activities, 1983-2000; OIG Report No. 2E-07-711-0001 dated 3/4/02-Evaluation of the Dept. of Labor's Fleet Management Program; OIG Report No. 2E-06-620-0001 dated 3/29/01-Evaluation of Hazard Complaint Handlling in MSHA's Office of Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health; OIG Report 2E-06-620-0002 dated 3/22/01-Evaluation of MSHA's Handling of Inspections at the W.R. Grace & Company Mine in Libby, Montana; GAO Report GAO-03-288R dated 11/27/02-MSHA Penalty Adjustments; GAO Report GAO-01-280 dated February 2001-Regulatory Reform Implementation of Selected Agencies' Civil Penalty Relief Policies for Small Entities. DOL Annual Report FY 2002


Were programmatic goals (and benefits) achieved at the least incremental societal cost and did the program maximize net benefits?

Explanation: MSHA does not have data on the societal costs and benefits of its regulations. MSHA also does not analyze the societal costs of regulations, such as whether the compliance costs of regulatory provisions are likely to be passed on to consumers. MSHA has requrested Departmental funding to conduct a program evaluation and develop strategies to evaluate the effectiveness of all its regulations related to mine worker safety and health.

Evidence: Regulatory Impact Analyses

NO 0%
Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability Score 40%

Last updated: 09062008.2003SPR