Nicholas W. Scala is a chair of the firm's national MSHA • Workplace Safety Practice Group. His practice focuses on issues involving mining safety and health law. Mr. Scala represents coal and metal/non-metal mining operators, with operations on both the surface and underground, in addition to cement manufacturers and independent contractors. His clients' operations extract a wide range of industrial minerals including coal, aggregates, construction sand and gravel, dimensional stone, gypsum, iron ore, limestone, and silica and frac sands.
Mr. Scala represents and advises clients in all phases of involvement with the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), particularly companies challenging enforcement by the agency. Mr. Scala also represents clients in litigation against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as well as developing corporate safety and health policies for clients in the construction and mining industries. As a Certified Mine Safety professional through the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration’s International Academy of Mine Safety & Health, his experience includes:
Advising and representing clients in relation to inspections, accident and fatality investigations and enforcement actions involving MSHA, OSHA, and state and local regulators;
Defending operators and contractors during the full range of litigation against MSHA, including informal and formal contest of citations or orders, negotiations of settlements to minimize the impact of future enforcement actions at the mine and on wrongful death and personal injury civil cases, and trials before the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission;
Representing employers and managing investigations resulting from complaints under Sections 105(c) and 110 of the Mine Act;
Advising clients with regards to MSHA/OSHA jurisdiction concerns, through review of the MSHA/ OSHA Interagency Agreement, and contest of jurisdiction disputes;
Developing and auditing safety programs and policies, including on-site facility inspections; and
Providing nationwide, workplace safety training and compliance counseling for employers, state-grant programs and trade associations.
Prior to joining Conn Maciel Carey, Mr. Scala was an attorney in a national MSHA practice group in the DC area. He also worked in-house for a national retailer on intellectual property portfolio management and corporate compliance. Before attending law school, Mr. Scala worked in the mining and heavy-highway construction industry.
Mr. Scala frequently speaks on MSHA and related legal issues such as Supervisory Rights & Responsibilities, Contractor Safety and MSHA Enforcement Initiatives & Guidance at mine safety and health events around the country. He is a published author on a variety of safety and health topics. He has been named a "Rising Star" by Washington, DC Super Lawyers in 2017, 2018, and 2019.