No US mining operations met the criteria for a Pattern of Violations (POV) for the fifth consecutive year, says the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).
MSHA says the POV provision in the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 is one of MSHA’s toughest enforcement tools. MSHA reserves the provision for mines that pose the greatest risk to miners’ health and safety, particularly those with chronic violation records.
In January 2013, MSHA published its POV rule to strengthen safety measures in the most hazardous mines. Under the regulation, MSHA may consider mitigating circumstances before issuing a POV notice and encourages mine operators to implement a corrective action programme if they are approaching POV status.
MSHA’s assistant secretary David G. Zatezalo says: “The Mine Safety and Health Administration remains committed to regular and consistent enforcement of the Mine Act – including issuing Pattern of Violations notices where appropriate – to fulfil its mission to keep the nation’s miners healthy and safe.”
MSHA developed the POV tool to alert mine operators that they are approaching POV status and should take appropriate corrective actions. A S&S rate calculator also enables mine operators to monitor violations.
Between 2011 and 2018, the rate of significant and substantial violations dropped from approximately 32 to 21%, an indicator of safety improvements in mines, the administration adds.