Report: MSHA Negligent in Approving Crandall Canyon Mine Roof Control Plan

A new report from the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Inspector General (OIG), states that MSHA was negligent in carrying out its responsibilities to protect the safety of miners as it pertains to the August 2007 Crandall Canyon Mine tragedy, which killed six miners and three rescue workers who died attempting to save the miners.

At the time of the incident, the mine operator was conducting a high-risk mining technique known as retreat mining in which pillars of coal previously left to support the mine roof are removed to maximize resource recovery. MSHA had previously reviewed and approved the mine operator's roof control plans associated with this activity and had also conducted periodic inspections of the mine, in part, to assure compliance with the approved plan.

Specifically, OIG found that MSHA could not show that it made the right decision in approving the Crandall Canyon Mine roof control plan or that the process was free from undue influence by the mine operator. MSHA did not have a rigorous, transparent review and approval process for roof control plans consisting of explicit criteria and plan evaluation factors, appropriate documentation, and active oversight and supervision by headquarters and District 9 management.

Further, MSHA did not ensure that subsequent inspections assessed compliance with, and the effectiveness of, approved plans in continuing to protect miners.

In the report, OIG has made nine recommendations to the Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health designed to:

  • Develop rigorous, standard, and transparent processes for the approval, implementation, and periodic reassessment of roof control plans, including active management oversight.
  • Establish explicit criteria and guidance for assessing the quality of, and potential safety risk associated with, proposed plans.
  • Re-evaluating the adequacy of existing roof control plans at all underground mines.
  • Clarify the handling of non-rescue activities and non-rescue personnel during active rescue operations.
  • According to OIG, MSHA concurred with the recommendations and stated it has initiated or planned numerous corrective actions. The report can be view at www.oig.dol.gov/public/reports/oa/2008/05-08-003-06-001.pdf.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    When it comes to OSHA recordkeeping there are always questions regarding the requirements and in and outs. IndustrySafe is here to help. We put together this page with critical information to help answer your key questions about OSHA recordkeeping.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We put together a guide that’s easy to digest so you can ensure you're complying with OSHA's training standards.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Track Key Safety Performance Indicators

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations to easily track safety KPIs and metrics. Gain increased visibility into your business’ operations and safety data.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus