Judge Orders Producer to Complete Safety Training or Stay Off Site

On Oct. 13, Judge John L. Kane entered an agreed consent order and judgment requiring Duckels Construction Inc., Steamboat Springs, Colo., to prevent owner Fred Duckels from entering the mining site permanently until he completes and provides proof of mandatory safety training.

After an investigation by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), the mine owner was ordered to stay away from the mining site after MSHA learned he had failed to comply with mandatory safety training. Despite the order, Duckels reportedly continued to work at the mine and was involved in several near misses and reportedly injured a worker with an excavator.

Duckels was previously in the news for threatening to shoot the safety manager of his construction company if he reported safety violations to the MSHA, and for threatening to shoot Jennifer Hoots, an MSHA inspector.

“Miners already face many life-threatening hazards in addition to operators refusing to comply with federal requirements,” said Regional Solicitor John Rainwater in Denver. “The U.S. Department of Labor will continue to hold operators accountable and ensure that all federal safety requirements – including completing required training – are met.”

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