Evacuation Standards Case Leads to Broad Shift in ‘Significant and Substantial’

July 19, 2012Articles
Bloomberg BNA Occupational Safety & Health Reporter

When federal mine inspectors issue citations for mine safety violations, they must indicate whether the infraction is one that ‘‘could significantly and substantially contribute to the cause and effect of a mine safety or health hazard,’’ according to the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act (Pub. L. No. 91-173). Congress never defined or offered guidance on what the phrase ‘‘significantly and substantially’’ actually means, leaving it instead for the courts to decide. The analysis used by the courts to determine if a violation is significant and substantial has been largely unchanged in the last 40 years.

Dinsmore’s Maxwell Multer argues that two recent decisions by the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission have expanded the scope of what violations would be considered significant and substantial in the article published by Bloomberg BNA below.