MSHA identifies West Virginia mine as chronic violator

As a result of its second 2023 pattern of violations (POV) screening, the Mine Safety and Health Administration has identified Mine No. 39 in McDowell County, W.Va., as a chronic violator. The underground mine is operated by Twin State Mining.

MSHA said that the mine met the initial POV criteria for the existence of a pattern of violations under section 104(e) of the Mine Act. During a 12-month review period – from Nov. 1, 2022, through Oct. 31, 2023 – the agency cited 87 significant and substantial violations. The S&S rate per 100 inspection hours at the mine was a staggering 9.11, while the national average rate for underground coal mines was 2.90.  

Although the mine met the initial screening criteria, MSHA issued Twin State Mining a postponement notice as the Mine No. 39 met mitigating circumstances. However, the agency can rescind the postponement and issue a POV notice if it determines one is needed to protect the safety and health of the employees at the underground operation.

This was the first time that MSHA has conducted more than one POV screening in a single calendar year. “Following a year when the mining industry experienced a troubling increase in fatalities, MSHA continues to use all measures available to prevent fatal and serious accidents and hold low-road operators accountable,” said Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health Chris Williamson.

Source: Department of Labor

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