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MSHA Reports on August Impact Inspections


MSHA reported that federal inspectors issued 213 citations, 23 orders and one safeguard during special impact inspections conducted at nine coal mines and five metal/nonmetal mines last month.

The monthly inspections involve mines that merit increased agency attention and enforcement due to their poor compliance history or particular compliance concerns. These matters include: high numbers of violations or closure orders; frequent hazard complaints or hotline calls; plan compliance issues; inadequate workplace examinations; a high number of accidents, injuries or illnesses; fatalities; adverse conditions, such as increased methane liberation, faulty roof conditions, inadequate ventilation and respirable dust.

An impact inspection conducted on Aug. 1 at JJ&E Coal Corp.’s Horse Creek Mine No. 2 in McDowell County, W.Va., resulted in: eight unwarrantable failure orders, one task training order, one imminent danger order and 36 104(a) citations. MSHA enforcement personnel inspected the one producing section, two coal conveyor belts and the surface area of the mine. They also traveled every air course, escapeway and beltline. At the time of the inspection, the day shift production crew was underground on the working section. Because the maintenance crew did not work the previous shift, all conditions observed were as the previous day-shift production crew had left them and after pre-shift examinations were made.

Metal/Nonmetal mines inspected included operations owned by Buzzi Unicem USA, Minn-Dak Asphalt Inc., Holloway Co., Mineral Park Inc. and BCJ Sand and Rock Inc.

Since April 2010, MSHA has conducted 656 impact inspections and issued 11,002 citations, 1,019 orders and 46 safeguards.