For First Time, No U.S. Mines Meet Criteria for "Pattern of Violations" Notice

Published July 6, 2016

​In a recent screening conducted by MSHA, none of the more than 13,000 mines in the U.S. warranted further scrutiny for issuance of a “pattern of violations” (POV) notice, the agency stated in a press release. This marks the first time since MSHA’s reforms began in 2010 that no mining operation meets the criteria for a POV notice, which is reserved for mines that pose the greatest risk to workers’ safety and health through repeated violations.

MSHA conducts periodic screenings to identify mines that might warrant a POV notice. The number of mines flagged via this process fell from 51 in 2010 to 1 in 2015, according to the agency. Upon further review, MSHA found that the single mine operation identified in its 2015 screening did not warrant a POV notice. MSHA attributes this steep decline to reforms enacted in recent years that give the agency greater latitude in issuing POV notices.

“MSHA’s actions have helped drive better compliance well beyond just the mines that met the criteria for further consideration for a POV notice,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for MSHA Joseph A. Main. “We have seen a cultural change in the mining industry where high numbers of serious violations at mines are no longer tolerated.”

For more information, see MSHA’s press release.