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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 11-1874



[ 25 PA. CODE CH. 208 ]

Requirements for Automated External Defibrillators

[41 Pa.B. 5959]
[Saturday, November 5, 2011]

 The Board of Coal Mine Safety (Board) proposes to amend the Department of Environmental Protection's (Department) regulations in Chapter 208 (relating to underground coal mine safety) to read as set forth in Annex A. This proposed rulemaking establishes safety standards relating to automated external defibrillators (AED).

 This proposal was adopted by the Board at its meeting on October 26, 2010.

A. Effective Date

 This proposed rulemaking will go into effect 90 days after final-form publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

B. Contact Persons

 For further information, contact Joseph Sbaffoni, Director, Bureau of Mine Safety, Fayette County Health Center, 100 New Salem Road, Room 167, Uniontown, PA 15401, (724) 439-7469; or Richard Morrison, Assistant Counsel, Bureau of Regulatory Counsel, P. O. Box 8464, Rachel Carson State Office Building, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8464, (717) 787-7060. Information regarding submitting comments on this proposed rulemaking appears in Section J of this preamble. Persons with a disability may use the Pennsylvania AT&T Relay Service, (800) 654-5984 (TDD users) or (800) 654-5988 (voice users). This proposed rulemaking is available through the Department's web site:

C. Statutory Authority

 The rulemaking is proposed under the authority of sections 106, 106.1 and 106.2 of the Bituminous Coal Mine Safety Act (BCMSA) (52 P. S. §§ 690-106, 106.1 and 106.2), which authorizes the adoption of regulations implementing the BCMSA including additional safety standards. The Board is directed to consider adopting regulations implementing the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006 (MINER Act) (Pub. L. No. 109-236) from the United States Department of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). This rulemaking is also proposed under section 1917-A of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P. S. § 510-17), which authorizes the Department to prevent the occurrence of a nuisance.

D. Background and Purpose

 At the National level, MSHA regulates mine safety under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Safety Act) (30 U.S.C.A. §§ 801—965). The MSHA regulations are in 30 CFR Parts 1—199. The operating requirements for underground coal mines are in 30 CFR Part 75 (relating to mandatory safety standards—underground coal mines).

 The Mine Safety Act only preempts state laws or regulations that are less stringent than or that conflict with MSHA standards. See section 955 of the Mine Safety Act (30 U.S.C.A. § 955), regarding state laws. Unlike a state's ability under other Federal statutes to obtain primacy (primary enforcement authority), a state cannot obtain authority to enforce the Mine Safety Act in that state's jurisdiction. As a result, a number of states maintain an independent underground coal mine safety program with the mine operator being subject to two mine safety programs.

 On June 15, 2006, the United States Congress amended the Mine Safety Act by enacting the MINER Act. The MINER Act addresses safety issues raised by fatal mine accidents at the Sago and Alma Mines in West Virginia and the Darby Mine in Kentucky. In addition, Congress adopted the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008 (Pub. L. No. 110-161) directing the MSHA to adopt new belt conveyor flame-resistance standards. In accordance with these congressional mandates, the MSHA has promulgated regulations addressing the flammability of belt conveyors, the strength of seals for abandoned areas, escapeways, refuge alternatives, post-accident breathable air, communications, tracking and mine rescue teams.

 The Commonwealth has been regulating safety at underground bituminous coal mines since 1889. See the act of May 9, 1889 (P. L. 154, No. 171), regarding the recovery of the bodies of workmen. On July 7, 2008, the General Assembly enacted the BCMSA. The BCMSA is the first significant update of the Commonwealth's underground bituminous coal mine safety laws since 1961. See section 103(a) of the BCMSA (52 P. S. § 690-103(a)).

 One of the significant changes made by the BCMSA is authority to promulgate regulations for mine safety. The General Assembly established the Board to promulgate regulations. The seven-member Board consists of the Department's Secretary as chairperson and three members representing the viewpoint of mine workers and the viewpoint of underground bituminous coal mine operators respectively. See section 106 of the BCMSA.

 A significant problem with the pre-existing law is that its safety standards were becoming outdated. See section 103 of the BCMSA. There was not an effective mechanism to modify existing standards or to adopt new safety standards to address changes in technology or other hazards.

 To rectify this problem, the BCMSA contains broad rulemaking authority to adopt regulations to either modernize safety standards in the BCMSA or adopt new safety standards not in the BCMSA. See section 106 of the BCMSA. The Board was directed to start considering whether to adopt Federal mine safety standards not in the BCMSA. See section 106.1 of the BCMSA. Of particular concern is the adoption of regulations implementing safety standards established by the MINER Act regulations. See section 106.1(h) of the BCMSA.

E. Summary of Regulatory Requirements

§ 208.70. Automated external defibrillators

 The Board is responding to a letter from a citizen, Karen J. Hampton of Fairview, who requested that AEDs be placed at coal mines for miners' safety. An AED is a portable device that uses electric shock to restore a stable heart rhythm. The Board agreed that placing AEDs at coal mines would be in the best interests of the miners' safety.

 This regulation requires mine operators to place one AED at a surface location of each mine as well as one AED at each coal producing section of each mine. Emergency medical personnel shall be trained in the proper use of an AED.

F. Benefits, Costs and Compliance


 The intent of this proposed rulemaking is to ensure that an AED is available should a miner have a heart attack while on the job. Trained emergency management personnel may be able to save a miner's life with the use of an AED at the mine rather than waiting for an ambulance to arrive. Since the 38 underground bituminous coal mines in this Commonwealth employ approximately 4,420 people, this proposed rulemaking protects all mine workers.

Compliance costs

 Each mine owner will be required to purchase the requisite number of AEDs.

G. Sunset Review

 This proposed regulation will be reviewed in accordance with the sunset review schedule published by the Department to determine whether the proposed regulation effectively fulfills the goals for which it was intended.

H. Regulatory Review

 Under section 5(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(a)), on October 26, 2011, the Department submitted a copy of this proposed rulemaking and a copy of a Regulatory Analysis Form to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) and to the Chairpersons of the Senate and House Environmental Resources and Energy Committees. A copy of this material is available to the public upon request.

 Under section 5(g) of the Regulatory Review Act, IRRC may convey any comments, recommendations or objections to the proposed rulemaking within 30 days of the close of the public comment period. The comments, recommendations or objections must specify the regulatory review criteria which have not been met. The Regulatory Review Act specifies detailed procedures for review, prior to final publication of the rulemaking, by the Department, the General Assembly and the Governor of comments, recommendations or objections raised.

I. Public Comments

Written comments—Interested persons are invited to submit comments, suggestions or objections regarding the proposed rulemaking to the Board of Coal Mine Safety, P. O. Box 8477, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8477 (express mail: Rachel Carson State Office Building, 16th Floor, 400 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101-2301). Comments submitted by facsimile will not be accepted. Comments, suggestions or objections must be received by the Board by December 5, 2011. Interested persons may also submit a summary of their comments to the Board. The summary may not exceed one page in length and must also be received by December 5, 2011. The one-page summary will be provided to each member of the Board in the agenda packet distributed prior to the meeting at which the final-form rulemaking will be considered.

Electronic comments—Comments may be submitted electronically to the Board at and must also be received by the Board by December 5, 2011. A subject heading of the proposal and a return name and address must be included in each transmission. If an acknowledgment of electronic comments is not received by the sender within 2 working days, the comments should be retransmitted to ensure receipt.


Fiscal Note: 7-463. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.

Annex A







§ 208.1. Definitions.

 The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

AED—Automated external defibrillator—A portable device that uses electric shock to restore a stable heart rhythm to an individual in cardiac arrest.

*  *  *  *  *

 (Editor's Note: The following section is new and printed in regular type to enhance readability.)


§ 208.70. Automated external defibrillators.

 (a) Location. A mine operator shall provide for use in an emergency one AED at the following locations, consistent with the Equipment Approval Task Force guidelines:

 (1) A location on the surface of the mine.

 (2) On or near each coal producing section.

 (b) Training.

 (1) Emergency medical personnel at the mine shall complete training in the use of an AED. The mine operator may include the required AED training in its continuing education plan for emergency medical personnel. Training in the use of the AED for emergency medical personnel shall be provided in accordance with the standards of the American Heart Association, the American National Red Cross or through an equivalent course of instruction approved by the Department of Health.

 (2) Mine personnel, other than emergency medical personnel, shall receive yearly training in the operation of the AED. Training may be provided as part of the annual refresher training provided under 30 CFR 48.8(c) (relating to annual refresher training of miners; minimum courses of instruction; hours of instruction).

 (c) Maintenance and inspection. AEDs shall be maintained and inspected according to manufacturer's operational guidelines.

 (d) Good Samaritans. Section 8331.2 of 42 Pa.C.S. (relating to Good Samaritan civil immunity for use of automated external defibrillators) applies to miners who render care with an AED.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 11-1874. Filed for public inspection November 4, 2011, 9:00 a.m.]

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