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MSHA releases update on corrective actions

February 6, 2013

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Arlington, VA – The Mine Safety and Health Administration recently provided an update on corrective actions it has taken in response to an internal report that identified inspection missteps at the Upper Big Branch mine.

Following the April 2010 explosion at the West Virginia mine, which killed 29 miners, an MSHA report (.pdf file) found that inspectors did not examine portions of the mine and failed to address accumulations of coal dust and flaws in the ventilation plan. Another report (.pdf file), completed by an independent panel at the request of then-Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis, concluded that proper enforcement would have reduced the chance of an explosion by cutting off the fuel sources – methane and coal dust.

MSHA said it has taken several corrective steps, including conducting audits of ventilation plans in Districts 4 and 12, increasing its capability to track enforcement training personnel, and providing mine rescue training to appropriate agency personnel.

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