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DuraLabel's Weekly Safety News

Blog Author Angelique Sanders

Weekly safety news. Stay in touch with regulations from OSHA, NFPA, and other safety codes. Find out about other companies' best and worst practices. We scour the internet to provide you with helpful training resources and the latest safety information.


Friday, April 15, 2011

MSHA Finally Bringing Out the Big Guns

MSHA Finally Bringing Out the Big Guns The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has added two mines to its Pattern of Violations (POV) list, which triggers closer MSHA scrutiny for mines with historically poor safety records. It is the first time MSHA has listed a mine in the POV program’s 33-year history. At the end of last year, MSHA warned 14 mines that they were in danger of being placed on the POV list. Eight of those mines cleaned up their act (to an extent), and when MSHA revisited, inspectors found fewer violations. Two temporarily idled, one stopped production, and one “has not completed the evaluation process,” according to MSHA. But two mines doubled down on their unsafe practices. On April 12, MSHA placed the New West Virginia Mining Company’s Apache Mine and the Bledsoe Coal Corporation’s Abner Branch Rider mine on the POV list. Under the POV designation, the next time MSHA visits the mines, it can order employees out of an unsafe area if an inspector “finds any violation of a mandatory health or safety standard that could significantly and substantially contribute to the cause and effect of a coal or other mine safety or health hazard.” MSHA has been more seriously targeting unsafe mines in the wake of the Upper Big Branch mine explosion that killed 29 West Virginia miners in April 2010. After the blast, MSHA faced questions over why it had never used its POV authority.

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