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MSHA Safety Crackdown on Troubled Mines Continues

December 30th, 2010 | Mike Hall

Image: Mike HallIn the latest round of stepped-up inspections of mines with a history of safety and health violations and other issues, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)  in November  issued 250 citations and other actions at 22 mines.

The new special impact inspections began after the April coal mine explosion at the Massey Energy Co.’s Upper Big Branch (W.Va.) mine that killed 29 miners.

The mines set for tougher inspections include those with a poor history of complying with previous orders to correct unsafe conditions, or that have specific concerns, such as high numbers of violations or closure orders.

The inspections also focus on mines where there have been evasive tactics by mine management, such as advance notification of inspections that prevent inspectors from observing violations and mines with a high number of accidents, injuries, illnesses or fatalities. Says MSHA administrator Joe Main:

MSHA’s impact inspection program is helping to reduce the number of mines that consider egregious violation records a cost of doing business. We will continue using this important enforcement tool to protect the nation’s miners

MSHA conducted the November inspections at 12 coal mines, issuing 111 citations for safety violations and 11 orders for immediate correction. At 10 metal/non-metal mines, MSHA inspectors issued 113 citations and 11 orders for immediate action.

This article was originally posted on AFL-CIO Now Blog.

About The Author: Mike Hall is a former West Virginia newspaper reporter, staff writer for the United Mine Workers Journal and managing editor of the Seafarers Log. He came to the AFL- CIO in 1989 and have written for several federation publications, focusing on legislation and politics, especially grassroots mobilization and workplace safety.

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