ARLINGTON, Va. – The Mine Safety and Health Administration today announced that federal inspectors issued 90 citations and three orders during special impact inspections at 10 coal mines and three metal and nonmetal mines in April 2016.
Begun in force in April 2010, these monthly inspections involve mines that merit increased agency attention and enforcement due to their poor compliance history or particular compliance concerns. MSHA conducted impact inspections at mines in Alabama, California, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Montana, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Here are the details of one inspection:
On April 19, 2016, MSHA conducted an impact inspection at the Inspiration Resources Inc., Mine No. 5 in Pike County, Kentucky. Enforcement personnel traveled to the mine and took action to ensure no advance notice was given. They issued 15 citations and three unwarrantable failure orders, the latter for an inadequate pre-shift examination, failure to water down roadways to prevent dust, and too-wide entries on the mechanized mining unit. These violations exposed miners to serious hazards associated with roof falls, equipment accidents and respirable coal dust. As a result, inspectors issued closure orders affecting 3,400 feet of roadways to the unit and its working section.
Among the hazards associated with the citations were mine fires, electrical shock, inadequate ventilation, explosive environments and black lung. Inspectors determined that airlock doors were not being closed and stoppings in certain areas were not maintained properly, in violation of the mine’s approved ventilation plans. These conditions affected the overall ventilation supplied to miners working at the face. Consequently, the mine was shut down for two days for the operator to correct all the violations.
Since April 2010, MSHA has conducted 1,142 impact inspections and issued 16,226 citations, 1,313 orders and 60 safeguards.