Federal agencies Mining, oil and gas

MSHA issues first POV notices under new rule

Arlington, VA – The Mine Safety and Health Administration recently used its revised Pattern of Violations power for the first time, putting three mines on notice.

One of MSHA’s strongest enforcement tools, POV notices are intended for mining operators that routinely flout safety rules. The agency revised its POV rule in March by eliminating the requirements for MSHA to issue “potential” POV notices and use only final orders in its review. This means the agency does not have to wait for contested citations to be resolved before putting a mine in POV status.

After recently conducting its first screening of all of the nation’s 14,600 mines under the new rule, MSHA issued POV notices to two West Virginia mines and one in Kentucky. The agency said it is looking over injury records of other mines.

MSHA noted that the number of POV notices has fallen since 2010, suggesting an improvement in safety behavior within the industry. In 2012, the agency issued four potential POV notices, compared with 17 potential POV notices and two actual POV notices in 2010.