MSHA Identified 246 Violations During Mine Safety Inspections in August 2023

MSHA Identified 246 Violations During Mine Safety Inspections in August 2023

The agency has found nearly 2,000 violations so far this year.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has once again updated its Mine Safety and Health Administration’s (MSHA) 2023 totals.

In a release dated Sept. 28, the DOL revealed MSHA found 246 violations during impact inspections at 14 mines across 10 states throughout August 2023. Impact inspections —which are performed at mines with poor compliance history and ongoing safety concerns—became part of the agency’s agenda following the 2010 tragedy at the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion in West Virginia, which resulted in the deaths of 29 miners.

MSHA performed impact inspections at mines in Alabama, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wyoming in August 2023. These inspections uncovered 94 significant and substantial (S&S) violations and 17 unwarrantable failure findings. S&S violations are those likely to result in serious injury or illness. Unwarrantable failures are instances when an inspector finds aggravated conduct greater than ordinary negligence.

“August impact inspections resulted in a troubling number of unwarrantable failure findings at multiple mines, representing serious safety and health hazards that operators knew put miners at risk and should have corrected,” MSHA Assistant Secretary Chris Williamson said in a statement. “Impact inspections remain an important tool to hold operators accountable and eliminate hazards such as combustible materials near belts, hazards that history shows can unfortunately cause mine fires and lost lives.” 

MSHA has identified 1,969 violations, including 587 S&S and 40 unwarrantable failures in 2023.

About the Author

Robert Yaniz Jr. is the Content Editor of Occupational Health & Safety.

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