Federal Judge Bans Construction Owner from Colorado Mine Over Lack of Safety Training

Federal Judge Bans Construction Owner from Colorado Mine Over Lack of Safety Training

The judgment follows several near-misses and a reported employee injury at the worksite.

Steamboat Springs, Colorado-based Duckels Construction Inc. is grappling with stringent legal mandates surrounding mine safety. On Oct. 13, 2023, the U.S. District Court of Colorado issued an agreed consent order and judgment barring owner Fred Duckels from accessing the mining site until he can present evidence that has completed the mandatory safety training to do so.

According to a release dated Oct. 18, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) launched the investigation, which revealed Duckels neglected to adhere to safety training protocols. Despite initial warnings, Duckels not only continued to access the mine but was also linked to several hazardous incidents, including an instance where an employee was reportedly injured due to an excavator mishap.

“Miners already face many life-threatening hazards in addition to operators refusing to comply with federal requirements,” Regional Solicitor John Rainwater in Denver said in a statement. “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.”

Duckels Construction Inc. and Duckels now face the challenges posed by this mandate, as the matter is currently unresolved.

About the Author

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

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