Federal agencies Mining, oil and gas

MSHA: Chronic mine safety violators have declined

Arlington, VA – The number of “chronic” violators among mine operators has decreased by 76 percent since 2010, the Mine Safety and Health Administration announced recently.

MSHA issues a Pattern of Violations notice – one of the agency’s strictest enforcement measures – to repeat safety offenders. If a mine receives a POV notice for ensuing significant and substantial violations, all miners are ordered to withdraw from the area until the issue has been corrected.

After a POV screening, 12 chronic violators were identified for further review in 2014, a decrease from 51 in 2010, when MSHA first used the revised potential screening tool for a pattern of violations. The coal sector had the largest decline, from 42 screened mines in 2010 to six in 2014.

In 2010, the 12 worst offenders were cited for 2,050 “significant and substantial” violations. That total decreased to 857 in 2014.

MSHA offers resources to help operators track compliance records.