Federal agencies Mining, oil and gas

OIG to MSHA: Mines need to update emergency call lists

emergency operations plan

Photo: i_frontier/iStockphoto

Washington – Incorrect telephone numbers in mine emergency response plans could hinder rescue operations, according to an alert memorandum issued Oct. 9 by the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General.

Although the Mine Safety and Health Administration requires mine operators to maintain call lists to be used in the event of a mine emergency, incorrect or inconsistent information could result in confusion among fire departments, mine rescue teams and evacuation equipment suppliers, the memo states.

In its response, provided one day after hearing about the concern from OIG, MSHA said it was taking corrective action and asking mine operators to update their emergency response plans. MSHA also said that about 40 percent of the mines scrutinized by OIG were inactive.

“Obviously, the status of mines can and does change from time to time,” OIG said. “However, our sample clearly shows a significant number of call lists contained in ERPs were incorrect as of the point in time covered by the sample.”