The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration announced that federal inspectors issued 130 citations and 13 orders during special impact inspections conducted at nine coal mines and one metal/nonmetal mine last month.
One crushed stone operation, S. M. Lorusso & Sons Inc. in Massachusetts, was targeted and received 23 citations.
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 accumulations of respirable dust.
MSHA reported that on Sept. 17, an impact inspection was conducted during the evening shift at Red River Coal Co.’s No. 1 Prep Plant in Wise County, Va. The mine phone and radio communications systems were monitored to prevent the possibility of advance notification to mine personnel. MSHA personnel inspected the preparation plant and loadout facility and issued 25 104(a) citations and 13 104(d)(2) orders. This is the first impact inspection of this mine.
Inspectors cited the operator for failure to conduct adequate on-shift examinations and to record, report and correct hazardous conditions. Inadequate examinations allowed existing hazards to continue, thereby exposing miners to potentially serious accidents. MSHA inspectors cited numerous hazardous conditions that should have been identified, recorded and corrected. The violations pointed to management’s inattention to safety precautions and lack of maintenance at the preparation plant and loadout facility.