MSHA inspectors need more training, better supervision, internal audits say

Arlington, VA – The Mine Safety and Health Administration needs better supervision and more training of inspectors to ensure consistent identification of hazards, according to findings in dozens of newly released internal audits.

Released April 15, the reports detail findings from internal reviews of several of the agency’s field offices conducted by MSHA’s Office of Accountability between 2008 and 2010. “We take these findings seriously, and are implementing new training and revising policies and procedures to ensure that common problems that have been identified do not crop up again and again,” MSHA administrator Joseph A. Main said in a press release.

Members of Congress asked (.pdf file) the agency to release the audits following a March Charleston Gazette article about the reports. A summary of the audits was released last year to the House and Senate Appropriations committees before the Upper Big Branch Mine-South tragedy, and Main told Congress this past March that the individual audits would be released as soon as privacy issues were resolved.

In the reports, several pieces of information – which appear to be identifying details such as mine names and citation numbers – have been blacked out.

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