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.

Monday, July 02, 2012

MSHA Issued 225 Violations Against Alpha Over Two Days

Federal inspectors from the Mine Safety and Health Administration issued 225 violations against coal mines owned by Alpha Natural Resources Inc. The incident that precipitated these inspections was a burned conveyer belt at Road Fork No. 51 Mine in Wyoming County, W.Va. No similar violations were found during the subsequent 40 inspections.

As an example from last month, MSHA conducted an impact inspection on May 16 at K and D Mining Inc.'s Mine No. 17 in Harlan County, Ky. MSHA personnel arrived at the mine during the second shift, capturing the phones to ensure that no advance notice of their presence was given. Among 43 violations issued were 16 unwarrantable failure withdrawal orders. Inspectors found that the continuous mining machine was operating with the ventilation curtain rolled up and a 60-foot-deep visible cloud of dust. Water pressure on the machine was inadequate, and several sprays were inoperative.

Withdrawal orders also were issued for other hazardous conditions, including accumulations of combustible materials on conveyer belts, defective and stuck belt rollers, a nonpermissible pump starter in the return air shaft, and inadequate electrical and on-shift examinations. Such a confluence of hazards can create conditions that lead to methane and coal dust explosions. The mine was shut down for nine days after the inspection until the operator corrected all of the hazardous conditions.

Read the story in Bloomberg Businessweek.

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posted by Steve Hudgik
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