The Only Constant is Change
Learn the latest pattern in MSHA’s ever-changing pattern of violations formula.
by Mark Savit and Erik Dullea
The Mine Safety and Health Administration’s (MSHA) Pattern of Violation (POV) program (under Section 104(e) of the Mine Act) is going through yet another round of revisions as a result of enforcement difficulty associated with the 2007 program. Original POV screening parameters were based primarily on a 24-month look back period, but new parameters will be based on a 12-month look back period. Under the new program, MSHA will use a two-step process to determine whether a mine has a potential pattern of violations (PPOV).
Step 1: Under the initial PPOV screening criteria, violations at mines are grouped into two categories. A mine triggers the screening criteria if all following Category I criteria are met:
At least 50 significant and substantial (S&S) citations/orders issued in the most recent 12 months;
Eight or more S&S citations/orders issued per 100 inspection hours during the most recent 12 months or negligence classifications of either “high” or “reckless disregard” for at least 25 percent of the S&S citations/orders issued within the past 12 months;
At least 0.5 elevated citations and orders under Secs. 104(b), 104(d), 104(g), or 107(a) of the Mine Act per 100 inspection hours issued during the most recent 12 months; and
An injury severity measure greater than the overall industry severity rate for mines of that type and classification over the most recent 12 months.
A mine can also trigger the screening criteria if both of the following criteria in Category II are met:
At least 100 S&S citations/orders issued in the most recent 12 months; and
At least 40 elevated citations/orders under Secs. 104(b), 104(d), 104(g), or 107(a) of the Mine Act issued during the most recent 12 months.
Mines meeting the criteria Category I or Category II are subject to pattern screening criteria to determine whether a PPOV exists.
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