Arlington, VA — The Mine Safety and Health Administration did not identify any Pattern of Violations offenders among the nation’s 13,000-plus mines for the sixth consecutive screening period.
The most recent screening period began Feb. 1, 2019, and ended Jan. 31, MSHA states in a March 17 press release. The agency conducts screenings at least once annually.
The Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 authorizes MSHA to issue POV notices to operators who “demonstrate a disregard for the health and safety of miners through a pattern of significant and substantial violations.” Further, a January 2013 final rule allows MSHA to consider extenuating circumstances before issuing a POV notice and prompts operators to fix problems if they are approaching the threshold of a POV.
A pair of online tools allows the agency to assist with compliance. POV monitoring notifies mine operators that they are approaching POV status and should take action to correct issues. The S&S rate calculator allows mine operators to track “significant and substantial” violations. According to the release, the rate of such violations fell to 20% in 2019 from 32% in 2011.
“Safety and health is what we care about most,” agency administrator David Zatezalo said in the release. “It’s what miners’ families care about, and we can see it’s what mine operators care about. We’ll issue [POV] notices when we need to, but it’s a good feeling to look at the screenings and see no mines meeting the criteria.”