MSHA Hits Texas Quarry With Imminent Danger Order

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) announced that federal inspectors issued 146 citations, six orders and one safeguard during special impact inspections at 11 coal mines and five metal and nonmetal mines in September 2016.

Begun in force in April 2010, the monthly inspections involve mines that merit increased agency attention and enforcement due to their poor compliance history or particular compliance concerns. MSHA conducted impact inspections at mines in Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

MSHA conducted an impact inspection on Sept. 28, 2016, at Buzzi Unicem USA’s Maryneal Quarry and Mill in Nolan County, Texas. Enforcement personnel issued 11 citations and four orders, including an imminent danger order requiring the operator to remove miners from dangerous unprotected roadways.

The imminent danger order and written violation stated that dust completely filled the crane and bin storage area of the mill building and impaired the visibility of customer truck drivers and mine equipment operators on the mine’s roadways.

Mine inspectors noted that the mine operator engaged in aggravated conduct constituting more than ordinary negligence, as this condition was reported previously to management and no action was taken to correct or prevent a future occurrence.

Enforcement personnel also found the following violations:

  • A contract mechanic with no previous mining experience did not received the MSHA-required 24-hour new miner training before beginning work at the mine, posing risks to himself and others.
  • A section of a conveyer belt was not protected, creating an entanglement hazard.
  • The volt power conductor used to energize a distribution box was not bridged properly where it crossed the roadway, creating an electrical hazard.
  • A service truck parked on a grade near the electric shop did not have its wheels properly chocked or turned into a bank, and the parking brake was not set, creating a potential rollover accident.

Other inspections took place at Ash Grove Cement’s plant in Seattle, S & S Rock’s Old Fort Quarry plant in Tennessee, and an Opelt Sand & Gravel crushing plant in Wisconsin.

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