The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) announced that federal inspectors issued 161 citations during special impact inspections conducted at 11 coal mines and six metal and nonmetal mines in July.
MSHA conducted special impact inspections at mines in Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Nevada, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.
Three aggregates operations were targeted and 28 citations issued. The three plants were Cemex's FEC Quarry, Carmeuse Lime and Stone's Buffington Plant, and Texas Crushed Stone's Georgetown Quarry and Pit.
Monthly impact inspections began in force in April 2010 at mines that merit increased agency attention and enforcement due to their poor compliance history or particular compliance concerns. Since then, MSHA inspectors have conducted 1,190 impact inspections and issued 16,590 citations, 1,317 orders and 60 safeguards.
MSHA recently added enhanced enforcement criteria to its impact inspection initiative, including “Rules to Live By” standards – which are commonly cited following mining deaths – and nine underground coal mine exam rule standards.
“MSHA has developed web tools for mine operators to better monitor these types of violations in order to improve compliance,” said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. “Our inspectors are paying close attention to mines with high violations of these standards as well.”