MSHA issues reports for year’s first four fatalities

On February 23, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reported that on Jan. 14, a 44-year-old contract laborer with 13 years of total experience received fatal injuries when he fell 27 feet to a concrete surface.  At the time of the accident, the contractor was on a belt conveyor in a coal preparation plant and was working to replace…

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MSHA rolls out safety campaign

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has announced the “Take Time Save Lives” campaign to reach miners, promote best practice resources, and ensure mine operators have the tools they need to fully train miners to use equipment. “The purpose of this new campaign is simple: mine operators need to take the time to train miners on equipment and safety…

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MSHA issues safety reminder for development mining near wells

The Mine Safety and Health Administration released a safety notice in February for the nation’s mining operations relating to development mining near wells, an issue it says is happening thousands of times across the U.S. In the new notice, the agency points out that much has changes for both the mining and gas industries in recent years: “Today’s coal mines…

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Vaccination pilot program targets miners in Kentucky, Arizona

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a new program designed to encourage COVID-19 vaccination among miners in Kentucky and Arizona. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that vaccination rates are below 60% in the two states where a number of mining operations exist. The department’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) will pilot the Mine Vaccine Outreach…

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Williamson tapped to lead MSHA

The Biden administration has nominated West Virginia native Christopher Williamson for assistant secretary for mine safety and health at the U.S. Department of Labor. Williamson, who will replace David Zatezalo if his nomination is confirmed by the Senate, currently serves as the senior counsel to Chairman Lauren McFerran at the National Labor Relations Board. Prior to his current seat, he…

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MSHA announces pillar collapse initiative

In November, MSHA announced a pillar collapse program that has spotlighted limestone mines but could also have an impact on other commodity operations. The agency noted that, since October 2020, four massive pillar collapses have occurred in limestone mines. Each was accompanied by a powerful air blast and the formation of a large surface sinkhole.   Fortunately, no injuries were reported…

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Proposed MSHA rule targets mobile equipment

MSHA announced a proposed rule in October requiring mine operators that employ six or more miners to develop a written safety program for mobile equipment and powered haulage equipment (except belt conveyors) used at surface mines and surface areas of underground mines. The written safety program would include actions mine operators would take to identify hazards and risks to reduce…

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MSHA awards Brookwood-Sago safety grants

In late September, MSHA announced the award of $1 million in Brookwood-Sago Mine Safety grant program funding to support education and training to help identify, avoid and prevent unsafe working conditions in and around the nation’s mines. “We are seeing an increase in mining fatalities, particularly powered haulage fatalities, and we must reverse this trend. The Mine Safety and Health…

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MSHA: No mining operation meets POV criteria

For the seventh year in a row, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) found none of the nation’s 12,000 mining operations met the criteria for one of the agency’s toughest enforcement tools, its pattern of violations (POV) screening. In MSHA’s annual screening of operations from Aug. 1, 2020 to July 31, 2021, the agency found…

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