The Mine Safety and Health Administration will implement an action plan for employees who do not meet the agency’s medical standards.
As a condition of employment, MSHA inspectors and technical personnel must undergo periodic medical examinations, including vision and hearing tests, and meet medical standards set by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
A review of exam results, according to MSHA, shows that about 15 percent to 20 percent of MSHA inspectors and technical personnel do not meet OPM medical standards. “[T]he problem had been growing over the past several years,” MSHA acknowledged.
MSHA said the Department of Labor is taking “immediate action” to develop an “effective, consistent, and equitable plan” to resolve the issue. As part of the plan, MSHA will put in place “an individualized assessment process” for employees who do not meet medical standards, including requirements for reasonable accommodation, quick resolution of issues, and consistent and fair implementation.
The agency noted, “MSHA will be transparent throughout this process, while being mindful of employees’ privacy concerns. MSHA will work with stakeholders, including the employees’ union, and keep them informed.”