Federal agencies Mining, oil and gas

MSHA’s Joseph Main touts mine safety improvements

Arlington, VA – Mine safety has been on an upward trend since 2010 thanks to a number of initiatives from the Mine Safety and Health Administration, agency head Joseph A. Main said Jan. 30.

Speaking at the 41st Annual West Virginia Mining Symposium in Charleston, Main said mine fatality and injury rates were at historic lows in 2011, 2012 and the first three quarters of 2013. In addition, he said, MSHA has reduced the number of chronic violators and, in 2013, filed the most discrimination cases ever (45) on behalf of miners who experienced retaliation for reporting hazards.

Other successes Main highlighted include the creation of an organization focused on mine rescue guidance, MSHA’s campaign to end black lung disease and the agency’s completion of the 100 corrective actions listed in an internal review of the agency’s handling of the Upper Big Branch mine explosion in 2010.