Assessment of Civil Penalties for MSHA; Inflation Adjustment

On January 23, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor will publish a final rule in the Federal Register that will adjust for inflation MSHA’s civil monetary penalties.  On November 2, 2015, the President signed into law the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015.  This law requires the Department to annually adjust its civil monetary penalty levels for inflation no later than January 15 of each year. Continue Reading »

The table below reports the change to MSHA’s penalties in 2019.

U.S. Mining Fatalities in 2018 Were Second Lowest on Record

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reports that 27 mining fatalities occurred in 2018 – the second lowest number ever recorded.

Eighteen fatalities occurred at surface operations; nine occurred in underground mines. Approximately 250,000 miners work across 12,000 U.S. metal/nonmetal mines, and 83,000 miners work in the nation’s 1,200 coal mines.

The leading cause of fatalities was powered haulage, which accounted for 13 fatalities or 48 percent of the annual total. MSHA has taken action to counter powered haulage fatalities, including publishing a Request for Information seeking stakeholder input on technologies and practices that can improve safety conditions related to mobile equipment and belt conveyors. MSHA also launched a campaign to educate miners and mine operators on the hazards associated with such equipment.

Introducing MSHA’s new Mine Data Retrieval System

We are pleased to announce that an  improved version of the Mine Data Retrieval System (MDRS) is now available for your review on Please take a look at the new system and let us know what you think.  Your feedback is important to help ensure that the changes work for everyone. The new system features:
  • An improved user-friendly interface
  • Enhanced ability to analyze data
  • Advanced data visualizations including maps, charts and graphs
  • Upgraded search capabilities 
Please send your comments to 

METAL/NONMETAL Serious Accident Alert

Surface – Lead-Zinc  On April 11, 2018, a miner received serious injuries when he was struck by a piece of metal floor grating.  A construction supervisor stepped on a section of metal floor grating. that was unsupported and unsecured on one edge . The grating, which weighed over 100 lbs., tilted, fell through the opening it was supposed to cover, and struck the miner 25 feet below.

Best Practices

* Ensure that floor gratings and covers installed over travelways are substantially constructed, fully supported, secured in place, inspected regularly and properly maintained.

* Inspect metal structures located in wet or corrosive environments frequently to identify deterioration that may present a safety hazard.

* Evaluate the integrity and support strength of any cover that was not designed as a walkway prior to walking on it. Provide and maintain a safe means of access to all working places.

* Restrict access to covers over openings not specifically designed to serve as travelways. Provide readily visible warning signs that clearly display the nature of the hazard and any protective action required.

* If the travel surface integrity is unknown or cannot be readily confirmed, ALWAYS wear fall protection.