MSHA Completes Second Pattern of Violations Screening for 2023

MSHA Completes Second Pattern of Violations Screening for 2023

This marks the first time in which multiple POV screenings were conducted in a single calendar year.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has completed its second pattern of violations (POV) screening for 2023. This process aims to pinpoint mines with chronic safety and health violations, signaling a strong or ongoing disregard for miners.

According to a recent release, this latest screening revealed Mine No. 39—operated by Twin State Mining Inc. in McDowell County, West Virginia—meets the initial criteria for a pattern of violations under section 104(e) of the Mine Act. From November 1, 2022, to October 31, 2023, MSHA documented 87 significant and substantial (S&S) violations, with an S&S rate per 100 inspection hours of 9.11, well above the national average of 2.90 for underground coal mines.

Despite meeting the initial POV criteria, MSHA has opted to postpone issuing a formal POV notice to Twin State Mining Inc., pending further evaluation of the mine's operations. This postponement, however, signals a period of heightened scrutiny, with the possibility of rescinding the postponement and issuing a POV notice if necessary to ensure miner safety.

“The Biden-Harris administration has demonstrated that it will use its enforcement tools such as its POV authority and impact inspections to focus on chronic violators and protect miners’ safety and health,” MSHA Assistant Secretary Chris Williamson said in a statement. “Following a year when the mining industry experienced a troubling increase in fatalities, MSHA continues to use all measures available to prevent fatal and serious accidents and hold low-road operators accountable.”

To that end, 2023 marked the first time MSHA has conducted more than one POV screening in a single calendar year. The agency’s two most recent POV issuances—to Atalco Gramercy LLC and Morton Salt Inc. in July 2023 and December 2022, respectively—still remain in effect.

About the Author

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

Product Showcase

  • NoiseCHEK Personal Noise Dosimeter

    SKC NoiseCHEK is the easiest-to-use dosimeter available! Designed specifically for OEHS professionals, SKC NoiseCHEK offers the easiest operation and accurate noise measurements. Everything you need is right in your palm. Pair Bluetooth models to your mobile devices and monitor workers remotely with the SmartWave dB app without interrupting workflow. Careful design features like a locking windscreen, sturdy clip, large front-lit display, bright status LEDs, and more make NoiseCHEK the top choice in noise dosimeters. Demo NoiseCHEK at AIHA Connect Booth 1003. 3

  • Safety Shower Test Cart

    The Safety Shower Test Cart speeds up and simplifies emergency shower tests, ensures you stay in compliance with OSHA regulations, and significantly reduces testing costs. With 7 unique features, the cart makes testing easy, effective, and efficient. You can test water clarity, flow, temperature, and spread—all at the same time! Most safety shower testing kits create a mess, take too much time to use, and don't fully help you stay in compliance with OSHA & ANSI standards. Transform the way you test emergency showers with Green Gobbler Safety. 3

  • AirChek Connect Sampling Pump

    Stay connected to your sampling with the SKC AirChek® Connect Sampling Pump! With its Bluetooth connection to PC and mobile devices, you can monitor AirChek Connect pump operation without disrupting workflow. SKC designed AirChek Connect specifically for all OEHS professionals to ensure accurate, reliable flows from 5 to 5000 ml/min and extreme ease of use. AirChek Connect offers easy touch screen operation and flexibility. It is quality built to serve you and the workers you protect. Ask about special pricing and a demo at AIHA Connect Booth 1003. 3