MSHA Impact Inspections Target Quarries

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) announced that federal inspectors issued 189 citations and six orders during special impact inspections at 17 coal mines, and six metal and nonmetal mines in November. Most of the coal mine inspections focused on compliance with respirable dust standards.

Begun in force in April 2010, the monthly inspections involve mines that merit increased agency attention and enforcement because of their poor compliance history or particular compliance concerns. MSHA conducted impact inspections at mines in Alabama, California, Illinois, Kentucky, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

One inspection focused on St. Mary’s Cement-Dixon Mine in Lee County, Ill. From Nov. 16-18, MSHA conducted an impact inspection at the operation. Enforcement personnel issued 53 citations and five orders.

Among their findings were nine guarding violations that exposed miners to moving machine parts and entanglement hazards; nine electrical violations that exposed miners to electrical shock hazards, and one violation for failure to conduct an adequate workplace examination.

Inspectors also issued four unwarrantable violations and one withdrawal order that removed 12 miners from the facility until they received adequate task training on maintenance of a coal hopper and how to block it from hazardous motion.

Cemex Construction Materials’ Pacific LLC Black Mountain Quarry (nine citations); Lhoist North America’s O’Neal Quarry & Mill (19 citations); and PCS Phosphate Co.’s Lee Creek Mine (three citations) were also targeted.

Since April 2010, MSHA has conducted 1,064 impact inspections and issued 15,532 citations, 1,294 orders and 57 safeguards.

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