August 10, 2017
On August 2, 2017, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) announced that, for the third year in a row ending June 30, no mines meet the criteria for a Pattern of Violations (POV) notice, which is one of the agency’s toughest enforcement tools reserved for mines that pose the greatest risk to the health and safety of miners, particularly those with chronic violation records. In January 2013, MSHA published its final POV rule to strengthen safety measures in the nation’s most dangerous mines, which allows the agency to consider mitigating circumstances before issuing a POV notice, and encourages mine operators to implement a corrective action program, if they are approaching a POV.
“A number of mine operators have proactively implemented corrective action programs to address specific hazards at their mines to improve miner safety and health, and those efforts are paying off,” says Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health, Patricia W. Silvey, in an MSHA press release. “Throughout the year, MSHA works with mine operators and miners to identify and correct recurring hazards.”
MSHA recently developed two online tools to help mine operators monitor compliance — the POV monitoring tool alerts mine operators when they meet the screening criteria and should take appropriate corrective actions; and the S&S rate calculator allows mine operators to monitor their S&S violations.