Home > government and politics, labor, legal and law enforcement, Mine Safety and Health Administration, safety > Mine Safety — MSHA to publish pattern of violations final rule

Mine Safety — MSHA to publish pattern of violations final rule

January 18, 2013

MSHA to publish pattern of violations final rule

Source: Mine Safety and Health Administration

Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today announced a final rule to strengthen safety in the nation’s most dangerous mines. The rule, which revises the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s pattern of violations regulation in 30 Code of Federal Regulations Part 104, has been submitted to the Federal Register for publication. It will ensure that mine operators monitor and address the most hazardous safety problems in their mines. It also strengthens MSHA’s hand to respond to dangerous mining conditions, and improve safety and health for mining’s most important resource — the miner.

"The tragedy at the Upper Big Branch Mine should not be forgotten. It exacted a terrible toll on the nation, coal miners’ families and coal companies. Over the last three years, the Labor Department has undergone a serious and comprehensive evaluation of mine safety practices, and that has led to reforms to protect America’s miners. The rule we are announcing today will hold mine operators accountable when they disregard life-saving safety measures," Secretary Solis said.

"This final rule represents one of MSHA’s highest priority regulatory initiatives and one that addresses Congress’ intent that this regulation encourage chronic violators to comply with the Mine Act and MSHA’s health and safety standards," said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "We think that this final rule will help prevent another tragedy such as occurred at the Upper Big Branch Mine. It promotes consistency in applying the POV notice as an enforcement tool, provides for a more open and transparent process, emphasizes operators’ responsibility to comply with safety and health standards and monitor their own compliance, and more effectively achieves the statutory intent of the Mine Act."

Under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, MSHA is required to issue a POV notice to any mine operator that demonstrates a disregard for the health and safety of miners through a pattern of significant and substantial violations. An S&S violation is one that contributes to a safety or health hazard that is reasonably likely to result in a reasonably serious injury or illness.

The POV final rule, which is also responsive to several recommendations made by the Labor Department’s Office of the Inspector General in a September 2010 report, strengthens MSHA’s ability to deal with the nation’s most dangerous, troubling mines and mine operators. It places the agency in a better position to identify operators that demonstrate a disregard for the health and safety of miners and have not responded to other enforcement measures.

About these ads
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 956 other followers

%d bloggers like this: