March impact inspections recap

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) said it completed impact inspections at 14 mines in 11 states in March, issuing 199 violations and one safeguard.

Of the March violations, 74 were evaluated as significant and substantial and four had an unwarrantable failure finding. The agency completed these inspections at mines in Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia

“The results of March’s impact inspections uncovered several serious violations, including putting miners at risk of fire and explosion hazards and impeding miners’ ability to escape emergency situations,” said Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health Chris Williamson.

One of the mines inspected in March was an underground coal complex in Jefferson County, Ala., operated by Crimson Oak Grove Resources. The inspection resulted in a total of 39 citations and one order, 18 of which were designated as S&S violations.

Specifically, MSHA inspectors found the following conditions existed at the Oak Grove mine complex:

  • On the surface, inspectors observed equipment in unsafe operating condition and personal protective equipment not being worn, exposing miners to safety hazards.
  • Underground, inspectors found that the mine was not following the approved roof control plan, exposing miners to the threat of falling rock.
  • Other conditions found include poor maintenance of an escapeway and a lifeline used for safe passage in the event of an emergency, accumulations of combustible materials, damaged ventilation stoppings, permissibility issues on equipment, a damaged guard, not maintaining the fire suppression system on a piece of diesel equipment, electrical equipment defects and inadequate examinations.

Since 2023, MSHA’s impact inspections have identified 3,134 violations, including 885 S&S and 59 unwarrantable failure findings.

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