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MSHA: No mines meet criteria for POV notice

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Arlington, VA – The Mine Safety and Health Administration has found no Pattern of Violations offenders among the nation’s more than 13,000 mines for the first time since POV reforms took effect in 2010, the agency announced June 29.

One of the agency’s strictest enforcement resources, the POV notice is intended for mines that “pose the greatest risk to the health and safety of miners, particularly those with chronic violation records,” MSHA states.

Mines that receive a POV notice must temporarily stop operations until “significant and substantial” violations are abated. During the first year of reforms, MSHA identified 51 mines that met the criteria for further POV review; in 2015, one coal mine met the criteria.

MSHA stated that violations and injury rates at mines that went through the POV process decreased from 2010 to 2016, including:

  • Significant and substantial violations decreased 66 percent.
  • Unwarrantable failure violations dropped 84 percent.
  • Total violations declined 42 percent.
  • The rate of lost-time injures reported by operators fell 55 percent.

Among the 200 mines with the most significant and substantial violations, those transgressions decreased 54 percent from 2010 to 2016, total violations dropped 38 percent, and elevated enforcement actions declined 64 percent.

“MSHA’s actions have helped drive better compliance well beyond just the mines that met the criteria for further consideration for a POV notice,” MSHA administrator Joseph A. Main said in a press release. “We have seen a cultural change in the mining industry where high numbers of serious violations at mines are no longer tolerated.”

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