MSHA Seeks to Collect $235,455 in Unpaid Penalties from North Carolina, Texas Mines

"Mine operators cannot be permitted to violate mine safety laws and simply refuse to pay penalties assessed for those violations," said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health.

On behalf of MSHA, the U.S. Department of Labor has filed complaints in U.S. district courts against two companies in North Carolina and Texas to collect unpaid civil fines resulting from federal mine safety violations.

One complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina against North 321 Stone Co. Inc., a surface granite mine located in Caldwell County. The department is seeking to collect unpaid civil penalties, interest, and a statutory 10 percent debt collection fee, which total $196,833, for at least 103 violations cited by MSHA between August 2005 and February 2011. The department also has requested a prospective injunction and a cash performance bond to guarantee that future penalties are paid.

North 321 Stone Co. Inc. did not contest any of the proposed penalties, which became final 30 days after the citations were issued. In addition, the company failed to respond to two separate demand letters sent by the Labor Department in an attempt to collect the unpaid fines. A third letter, with the first two attached, was personally served on North 321 Stone Co. Inc. The company also failed to respond to that letter.

A second complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas against Efrain Corchado, both as an individual and doing business as Corchado's Dimensional Fence Rock. The action requests injunctive relief and to collect unpaid civil penalties incurred by Vista Rock Pickers Quarry, a crushed and broken stone operation in El Paso County, Texas, that is owned by Corchado.

In this case, the Labor Department is seeking to collect $33,979 in unpaid civil penalties for 40 violations, along with $4,643 in interest and the statutory 10 percent debt collection fee. MSHA issued $25,065 of these penalties following its investigation of serious injuries suffered by a miner when a front-end loader rolled over on him in September 2010. MSHA also issued a citation for the mine's failure to provide the victim with proper training. The mine changed its status to "abandoned" in December 2010, shortly after the accident.

"Mine operators cannot be permitted to violate mine safety laws and simply refuse to pay penalties assessed for those violations," said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "The Department of Labor will use the tools available under the Mine Act to pursue these scofflaws."

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.

  • Complete Online Safety Training Courses

    Deliver state-of-the art, online safety training courses to your organization with IndustrySafe Training Management Software. Generate reports to track training compliance and automatically notify learners of upcoming or overdue classes.

  • Easy to Use Safety Inspection App

    Conduct inspections on the go with IndustrySafe’s mobile app. Complete safety audits at job sites and remote locations—with or without web access.

  • 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.

  • Analyze Incident Data and Maintain OSHA Compliance

    Collect relevant incident data, analyze trends, and generate accurate regulatory reports, including OSHA 300, 300A, and 301 logs, through IndustrySafe’s extensive incident reporting and investigation module.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus