The U.S. Department of Labor announced that monthly impact inspections by its Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) at 16 mines in 12 states in March 2023 have identified 205 violations, including 52 significant and substantial findings.
Impact inspections are done at mines that merit increased agency attention and enforcement related to poor compliance history; previous accidents, injuries, and illnesses; and other compliance concerns.
MSHA conducted its monthly impact inspections in March 2023 at mines in Alabama, California, Colorado, Kentucky, Indiana, Minnesota, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Utah and West Virginia.
Nonmetal operations inspected included Davis Sand & Gravel Inc., Five Star Sands Inc., Mississippi Lime Co., Argos USA LLC, Carmeuse Lime and Stone Inc. and Lehigh Cement Co. These plants in total were issued more than 100 citations, including 26 significant and substantial findings.
In the first three months of 2023, the agency’s inspections identified 579 violations, including 165 significant and substantial and 13 unwarrantable failure findings. A significant and substantial violation is one that is reasonably likely to cause a reasonably serious injury or illness.
“The Mine Safety and Health Administration remains focused on identifying conditions that can lead to serious accidents and put miners at increased risk of developing entirely preventable occupational illnesses,” said Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health Chris Williamson. “Impact inspections are an important enforcement tool that we will continue to use to protect miners’ safety and health.”
MSHA first began impact inspections in April 2010 after an explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia killed 29 miners.