MSHA impact inspections target 16 mines, yield 279 violations in May

MSHA completed impact inspections at 16 mines in May, issuing 279 violations and one safeguard. 

MSHA conducts impact inspections at mines that merit increased agency attention and enforcement due to poor compliance history; previous accidents, injuries and illnesses; and other compliance concerns. 

Among the violations, MSHA cited 83 significant and substantial violations. MSHA conducted inspections at mines in Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Nebraska, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.

So far in 2023, MSHA’s impact inspections have identified 1,193 violations, including 340 S&S and 18 unwarrantable failure findings. Violations designated as unwarrantable failures occur when an inspector finds aggravated conduct that constitutes more than ordinary negligence.

“The Mine Safety and Health Administration is troubled by the fact that our impact inspections continue to discover the same hazards we’ve identified as root causes for many of the fatal accidents that have occurred this year,” said Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health Chris Williamson. “Mine operators are responsible for providing a safe and healthy work environment and adequate training for their employees. Impact inspections remain an important tool to hold operators accountable and require corrective actions that eliminate hazards that put miners’ safety and health at risk.

“In addition to enforcement actions, MSHA has issued safety alerts on electrical and slip, trip and fall hazards, and provides educational, outreach and compliance assistance materials to the mining community to emphasize the importance of adequate workplace examinations and training,” said Williamson. 

The agency began impact inspections after an April 2010 explosion in West Virginia at the Upper Big Branch coal mine killed 29 miners.

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