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Big Brother, and Everyone Else, is Watching You

MSHAApril 12, 2011 – This is going to be sort of like operating in a fish bowl. MSHA now offers an online service that enables mine operators, miners and others to monitor a mining operation to determine if it could be subject to a potential pattern of violations (POV). MSHA developed the monitoring tool based on feedback from the mining industry and others, as well as recommendations from a POV auditreport issued last September by the Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General. “We are making the process more transparent,” said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. “We have worked hard to improve the pattern of violations process, and I am confident we have developed a tool to better serve the mining community. This self-monitoringtool will be an extremely effective way for mine operators to continuously track their compliance history and make the changes necessary to ultimately keep miners safe and healthy.” The newly developed POV monitoring tool, available here, permits mine operators, miners, the media and the public to determine, based on the most recent data available, how a specific mine matches up with the criteria for a potential pattern of violations. The enforcement data, upon which the pattern of violations criteria are based, will be refreshed monthly. My biggest concern is that the media and NIMBY Groups with an ax to grind will misrepresent some of the data they see for their own purposes. Does this concern you as well?