The U.S. Department of Labor announced that its Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) completed impact inspections at 20 mines in 15 states in April 2023 and found 335 violations.
Since Jan. 1, 2023, MSHA’s inspections identified 914 violations, including 257 significant and substantial and 18 unwarrantable failure findings. A significant and substantial violation is one reasonably likely to cause a reasonably serious injury or illness. Violations designated as unwarrantable failures occur when an inspector finds aggravated conduct that constitutes more than ordinary negligence.
The agency opens impact inspections at mines that merit increased agency attention and enforcement due to poor compliance history; previous accidents, injuries, and illnesses; and other compliance concerns. MSHA began using impact inspections after an April 2010 explosion in West Virginia at the Upper Big Branch Mine killed 29 miners.
Among the 355 violations MSHA found in April’s impact inspections were 92 significant and substantial violations and five unwarrantable failure findings. The agency completed these inspections at mines in Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Among the targeted operations were Vulcan Materials, Martin Marietta and Summit Materials plants.