Last week MSHA announced that three mining operations—one in Kentucky and two in West Virginia—have been put on notice of a pattern of violations (POV) of mandatory health and safety standards under Section 104(e) of the Mine Act. This POV screening is the first conducted since the final rule revising MSHA's pattern of violations regulation went into effect on March 25, 2013. According to an earlier MSHA press release, the rule strengthens MSHA’s ability to respond to dangerous mining conditions and will help the agency identify mine operators who demonstrate disregard for worker health and safety.
The three mines that received POV notices are Tram Energy LLC’s Mine No. 1 in Floyd County, Ky.; Brody Mining LLC’s Brody Mine No. 1 in Boone County, W.Va.; and Pocahontas Coal Company LLC’s Affinity Mine in Raleigh County, W.Va. According to MSHA, its review for POV covered all 14,600 mines in the U.S.
A description provided by MSHA explains that the rule reinforces mine operators’ responsibility for complying with MSHA standards and monitoring their mines’ compliance. The agency reports that the number of POV notices issued by MSHA has decreased each year since 2010.
“The decrease in the number of operators meeting the POV criteria shows that the POV process is working–many operators are cleaning up their acts, even when MSHA is not looking over their shoulders,” said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health.
For more information, read MSHA’s press release or visit the Pattern of Violations Single Source Web page.