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MSHA: No Pattern of Violations notices issued for third straight year

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Arlington, VA – The Mine Safety and Health Administration did not issue any Pattern of Violations notices for the third consecutive year, the federal agency announced Aug. 2. The most recent screening period for the 13,000-plus mining operations in the United States was July 1, 2016, to June 30.

The Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 allows MSHA to issue POV notices to operators that “demonstrate a disregard for the health and safety of miners through a pattern of significant and substantial violations.” Mines issued a POV notice also are given withdrawal orders and work must stop – at least temporarily – until the violation(s) are abated.

In recent years, MSHA has developed a pair of online programs to aid in compliance. POV monitoring warns mine operators that they meet “screening criteria” and should take action to correct issues. The S&S rate calculator monitors a mine operator’s “significant and substantial” violations.

A January 2013 final rule allows MSHA to consider extenuating circumstances before issuing a POV notice and prompts operators to fix problems if they are on the threshold of a POV.

“A number of mine operators have proactively implemented corrective action programs to address specific hazards at their mines … and those efforts are paying off,” MSHA Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor Patricia Silvey said in an Aug. 2 press release.

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