Edward E. Lopez has announced his retirement as manager of MSHA’s South Central Metal/Non-Metal District, effective April 19. Lopez has taken a position with copper giant Freeport-McMoRan at its surface copper mine in Morenci, AZ. There is no word on a replacement.
Charlie Carpenter has retired as manager in Coal District 4 (D4), Mt. Hope, WV. His replacement reportedly is D. Scott Mandeville, currently the Assistant District Manager for Technical Support in D12, Beckley. Lincoln Selfe, Jr. is acting manager until Mandeville moves into the position.
OSHA has acknowledged in its $570.5 million budget proposal for fiscal year 2014 (FY 14) that it plans to include lower permissible exposure limits (PELs) for crystalline silica in general industry and construction.
OSHA’s proposal, unveiled Wednesday, represents a $5.7 million increase over the last enacted budget in FY 2012. Increases were proposed in the whistleblower program ($6 million), enforcement ($32,000) and in safety and health standards ($2.1 million). There are offsetting decreases in other program areas.
MSHA will end all state grants funding and cut funds for coal plan approvals and from the Small Mines Consultation Program (SMCP) while seeking an increase of $6.4 million for its enforcement programs and regulatory initiatives in a $380.7 million fiscal year 2014 (FY 14) budget proposal released today.
A Pennsylvania coal operator must pay a $110,000 fine after being found guilty of a flagrant violation in a ruling that has further muddled how the “repeated failure” language of the flagrant provision in the MINER Act should be interpreted.
An administrative law judge (ALJ) has upheld a special assessment against an Alabama coal operator and a fine imposed upon one of its foremen following an incident in which three underground rail cars broke free and nearly struck a miner while travelling out of control for three-quarters of a mile.
ALJ William Moran brushed aside arguments raised by Oak Grove Resources, LLC challenging the validity of an order an MSHA inspector issued for violation of a 19-year-old safeguard at its Oak Grove mine.
The year 2012 was the safest ever regarding injuries and fatalities in the U.S. mining industry, according to preliminary data released today by MSHA.
Production at Consol Energy’s Blacksville No. 2 Mine remains on hold as company officials continue to try and bring the underground coal mine back on line after a fire was detected more than three weeks ago.
Company spokeswoman Lean Seay said late Wednesday that federal and state authorities and the union were implementing a plan approved earlier in the day by federal and state officials and the local union to examine a portion of the mine.
A Kentucky coal operator’s effort to rid itself of a nettlesome coal miner has ended in failure.
In a 12-page decision released today, a three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an administrative law judge’s 2012 decision reinstating miner Charles Scott Howard to his position as an underground face worker at Cumberland River Coal Co.’s (CRCC) Band Mill No. 2 Mine. In that decision, ALJ Margaret Miller also imposed a $30,000 fine, $10,000 above what MSHA had proposed.
MSHA and the Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) agree that the mine safety agency has made progress on improving its coal mine roof control plan process since the Crandall Canyon accident but differ somewhat on OIG’s findings that shortcomings remain.
Mark Harris has joined Safety Solutions International (SSI) as a Senior Health and Safety Associate.
In a press release, Colorado-based SSI said Harris has held numerous senior-level occupational health and safety (OH&S) positions with firms in this country and abroad that are engaged in surface and underground mining. Read more »
MSHA has made significant progress in implementing recommendations following the Upper Big Branch-South (UBB) Mine tragedy, and there is no reason to believe the agency will not meet its deadline for acting on most of them.
MSHA has re-issued a Program Information Bulletin (PIB) addressing coal operator respirable dust sampling procedures that specifies sampling procedures and post-sampling requirements that were absent from PIB 09-31, the previous iteration.
MSHA is using money from the state grants program to offset budget losses that have occurred due to sequestration.
Although furloughs are in store at many agencies, there will be none this fiscal year at MSHA, the Washington Post reported last week. In significant part, that is due to the agency’s transfer of $5 million from the state grants program. The state grants funding cuts, which appear to be across the board, come to about 64%. The program is authorized under Sec. 503(h) of the Mine Act.
A West Virginia coal miner died because he got alongside a continuous mining machine (CMM) as it was being moved, a violation of the mine’s roof control plan.
In an accident report released Thursday, MSHA said Johnny Mack Bryant, II, 35, was killed when he was pinned between the conveyor boom of a CMM and the coal rib. The incident occurred last July 27 at Coal River Mining, LLC’s Fork Creek No. 10 Mine in Boone County.
A judge increased a proposed fine against a South Dakota aggregate operator five-fold after agreeing with MSHA the operator was highly negligent for continuing to conduct mining after it told the agency it had shut down.
Consol Energy officials today entered the coal producer’s Blackville No. 2 Mine for the first time since March 12, when black smoke coming through a ventilation shaft indicated that a fire had started underground.
Officials entered the mine along the Pennsylvania –West Virginia border this morning to assess conditions and following approval of the operator’s re-entry plan by MSHA, the state and the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA).
MSHA shut down two sections of a West Virginia coal mine during an impact inspection at the mine in February.
Coal River Mining, LLC’s Fork Creek No. 1 Mine in Boone County was one of 11 Coal operations and three metal/non-metal (M/NM) mines inspected during the month. The agency issued 196 citations, 24 orders and three safeguards during the period.
A miner involved in the attempt to rescue six miners in a 2007 Utah coal mining accident has been killed in a roof collapse at another coal mine in the state.
Elam Jones, 28, of Huntington died in a roof collapse Friday afternoon at Castle Valley Mining, LLC’s #4 Mine in Emery County. The dead miner was identified by Huntington Mayor Hilary Gordon. A second miner, Dallin McFarlane, was treated and released from a local hospital.
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May 29, Piedmont Triad Transportation Management Center, Greensboro, NC
June 4-6, Holiday Inn and Suites North Beach, Virginia Beach, VA
June 4-6, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Mine Safety Training Center, Cadiz, OH
Current Regulatory Agenda
Proposed (P) Final (F)
(F) Pattern of Violations Issued Jan '13
(F) Prox Detect Devices:CMMs May '13
(F) Respirable Coal Dust Jun '13
(P) Prox Detect Devices UG Jul '13
(P) Civil Penalties Jan '13
(P) Legal Identity Not. Jul '13
(P) Silica Aug '13
(P) Testing Fees Aug '13
(F) Update Signage Mar '13
(F) Coop. Agreements Apr '13
(F) Update NAICS May13
(F) Confined Space Construction Jul '13
(F) Slips, Trips, Falls Aug '13
(P) Silica May '13
(P) Inj/Ill Reporting May '13
(P) Combustible Dust Oct '13
(P) I2P2 Dec '13
- Coal 8
- Aggregates 2
- Other M/NM 5
- Coal 19
- Aggregates 10
- Other M/NM 6
- Coal 21
- Aggregates 8
- Other M/NM 8
- Coal 48
- Aggregates 9
- Other M/NM 14