Coal mine operators in West Virginia and other states have been under increased scrutiny from the Mine Safety and Health Administration in 2016. The agency handed out 161 citations to U.S. mine operators in July, a 41 percent increase from the prior month when mine operators received 114 citations. The higher citation rate is part of MSHA’s impact inspection campaign that was launched in April 2010 in an effort to prevent miner’s injuries and fatalities.
In 2010, MSHA started sending out inspectors to mines that had been flagged for compliance concerns. So far, MSHA has conducted 1,190 monthly impact inspections that have resulted in 16,590 citations. In a statement, the MSHA chief said that MSHA has developed web tools to help monitor safety violations, and inspectors are paying close attention to mines that have a lot of safety violations.
MSHA issued a special ‘call to safety” to coal miners on Aug. 29. For about one month, MSHA inspectors conducted ‘walks and talks” to remind coal miners about safety concerns, encourage safety training and raise awareness of hazards. There have been eight fatal coal mining accidents and 1,124 non-fatal coal mining accidents since October 2015. A majority of the non-fatal coal mining accidents have occurred at mines in West Virginia.
Mining accidents can result in serious injuries for the workers that are involved. A person who has been injured by a gas explosion, roof cave-in, heavy machinery accident or another kind of mining accident may want to meet with an attorney to discuss whether filing a personal injury lawsuit against the operator would be appropriate.
Source: The National Law Review, “MSHA Announces 41% Increase in Citations to Mine Operators,” Joseph S. Dreesen, Sept. 15, 2016