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No mines meet criteria for Pattern of Violations notice: MSHA

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First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

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Arlington, VA — For the seventh successive screening period, none of the nation’s 12,000 mines received a Pattern of Violations notice from the Mine Safety and Health Administration, the agency has announced.

MSHA’s most recent screening period began Aug. 1, 2020, and ended July 31. The Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 authorizes the agency 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.” A January 2013 final rule allows MSHA to consider extenuating circumstances before issuing a POV notice and prompts operators to fix problems should they approach the threshold of a POV.

MSHA offers separate online tools intended to assist with compliance. POV monitoring notifies mine operators who are approaching POV status and alerts them to take corrective action. Via the S&S rate calculator, mine operators can track “significant and substantial” violations.

“While the Pattern of Violations provision gives us an enhanced enforcement tool that alerts us to mine operations with the most serious violations, we know more must be done to prevent mining fatalities,” Jeannette Galanis, MSHA’s deputy assistant secretary for policy and acting administrator, said in a Sept. 30 press release. “We have seen too many tragic incidents in 2021 and we encourage mine operators to intensify their efforts to ensure the safety, health and well-being of their miners.”

According to MSHA data through Sept. 21, 27 miners have died on the job this year. Twenty-nine miners suffered fatal work-related injuries in 2020.


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