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Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977

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Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977
Great Seal of the United States
Other short titlesFederal Mine Safety and Health Amendments Act of 1977
Long titleAn Act to promote safety and health in the mining industry, to prevent recurring disasters in the mining industry, and for other purposes.
Acronyms (colloquial)FMSHA, MSHA
NicknamesFederal Mine Safety and Health Amendments Act
Enacted bythe 95th United States Congress
EffectiveMarch 9, 1978
Public law95-164
Statutes at Large91 Stat. 1290
Acts amendedFederal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969
Titles amended30 U.S.C.: Mineral Lands and Mining
U.S.C. sections amended30 U.S.C. ch. 22 § 801 et seq.
Legislative history
  • Introduced in the Senate as S. 717 by Harrison A. Williams (DNJ) on February 11, 1977
  • Committee consideration by Senate Human Resources
  • Passed the Senate on June 21, 1977 (78-18)
  • Passed the House on July 15, 1977 (244-88, in lieu of H.R. 4287)
  • Reported by the joint conference committee on October 3, 1977; agreed to by the Senate on October 6, 1977 (agreed) and by the House on October 27, 1977 (376-35)
  • Signed into law by President Jimmy Carter on November 9, 1977

The Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Public Law 95-164) amended the Coal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1969. It can be found in the United States Code under Title 30, Mineral Lands and Mining, Chapter 22, Mine Safety and Health.

The S. 717 legislation was passed by the 95th United States Congressional session and enacted into law by the 39th President of the United States Jimmy Carter on November 9, 1977.[1] S. 717 was drafted largely by Mike Goldberg of the Senate Labor Committee staff and James H. Rathlesberger, the special assistant in the Office of the Secretary of the Interior who oversaw the Mine Health and Safety Administration (MESA) until the bill transferred it to the Labor Department.[2]

The law of the United States enacted on November 9, 1977 took effect one hundred and twenty days later. It had been supported by the United Mine Workers, Carter Administration and others but opposed by the mining industry.

Main provisions[edit]

  • combination of coal, metal and non metal mines under single legislation
  • retention of separate health and safety standards for coal mining
  • transfer of enforcement from the Department of Interior to the Department of Labor
  • renaming of the Mine Enforcement Safety Administration (MESA) as Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)
  • four annual inspections of underground coal mines
  • two annual inspections of all surface mines
  • elimination of advisory standards for metal and nonmetal mines
  • discontinuation of state enforcement plans
  • mandating of miner training
  • requirement of mine rescue teams for all underground mines
  • provision of increased involvement of miners and their representatives in health and safety activities

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Peters, Gerhard; Woolley, John T. "Jimmy Carter: "Federal Mine Safety and Health Amendments Act of 1977 Statement on Signing S. 717 Into Law.," November 9, 1977". The American Presidency Project. University of California - Santa Barbara.
  2. ^ February 16, 1977 Rathlesberger memorandum to Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy and Minerals, “Mine Safety and Health Legislation—Background & Recommendations”

External links[edit]