November 18, 2011

MSHA Quarterly Fatality Reviews and Preventative Measures

From: MSHA

Summary of 2011 (3rd Quarter) Fatal Accidents

The mining industry recently experienced four mining deaths within four days. In an effort to remind operators, miners, and contractors to stay focused on preventing fatalities and injuries, the Mine Safety and Health Administration is distributing best practice and preventative measure information in the form of a Safety Alert and a 2011 3rd quarter fatality update.

The Safety Alert is a poster that can be displayed in the mine to remind operators, miners, and contractors of the fatalities that occurred between Oct 28 -31, 2011. It lists actions to take to prevent these kinds of accidents.

November 4, 2011

Safety improves at Massey mines despite violation notices: Alpha

From: Platts

US coal producer Alpha Natural Resources, which continues to integrate Massey Energy coal-producing operations it acquired in June, said Thursday the integration process is making inroads on the safety and financial fronts.

This is despite several former Massey mines being under the US Mine Safety and Health Administration’s “Potential Pattern of Violations” program of enhanced scrutiny, and continuing costs resulting from the integration, including from the now-shut Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia.

UBB was shut in April 2010, under Massey ownership, after an underground explosion killed 29 miners. It was the deadliest US coal mine accident in 40 years and investigations in the accident continue.

October 27, 2011

MSHA’s Special Impact Mine Inspections Result in Hundreds of Citations

From: EHS Today

When MSHA conducted special impact inspections at 20 mines in September, the agency uncovered safety concerns that included accumulations of combustible dust, an open and unsupported excavation hole, nonworking self-contained self-rescuer units, inadequate pre-shift examinations, inadequate testing of electrical grounding systems and more. The inspections resulted in a spate of citations, orders and safeguards against the mines.

Special impact inspections target mines that MSHA deems are in need of �increased agency attention and enforcement� due to poor compliance history or compliance concerns. MSHA began conducting these inspections in April 2010 in the wake of the deadly Upper Big Branch Mine explosion

October 20, 2011

Arch Coal Operations Among Safest in Nation; MSHA Honors Employees of Arch Operations With Two Sentinels of Safety Awards

From: Arch Coal

ST. LOUIS, Oct. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Arch Coal, Inc. (NYSE: ACI) today announced that employees of Canyon Fuel Company’s Sufco mine and Powell Mountain Energy’s preparation plant achieved the nation’s best 2010 safety records in their respective categories, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).

The prestigious Sentinels of Safety awards were presented at a banquet today in Washington, D.C. “The companies being recognized today understand the importance of having effective safety and health programs in place and diligently implementing those programs every day,” said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health.  ”They also demonstrate to the rest of the industry that it is possible to take responsibility for mine safety and health and run mining operations safely every day of the year.”

October 12, 2011

Mine Rescue Contest Results Now Available

The results from the 2011 National Mine Rescue, First Aid, Bench, and Preshift Contest held in Columbus are available on MSHA’s website here.

October 6, 2011

Federal Grants Provide Money for Mine Safety Training in the Mountain State

From: WVNSTV.com (WV)

Nearly $500,000 will be split between two universities and a coal miners union career center to help with mine safety and mine rescue training. 

By Martin Staunton

September 27, 2011

Intelligent Proximity Detection to Improve Miner Safety

From: NIOSH Mining Safety and Health

MSHA recently announced a proposed rule requiring that continuous mining machines be equipped with proximity detection systems. NIOSH has been working on this problem for over ten years and believes that an Intelligent Proximity Detection (IPD) system may be the answer to keeping miners safe around underground equipment. Continuous mining machines, the initial target of the rule, present one of the biggest challenges to safety because of the number of workers close to the machine and the variety of ways the machine can move, pivot and tram.

September 23, 2011

2011 National Mine Rescue, First Aid, Bench and Preshift Competition: October 3-6, 2011 (Columbus, OH)

Information about the 2011 National Mine Rescue competition may be found here.

The contest rules may be found here.

The Contest Agenda for all five days (including registration on October 2nd) is attached below.

2011ContestAgenda

September 16, 2011

Reissue of MSHA P08-16 – Clarification of Procedures to Use When Reporting Self-Contained Self-Rescuer (SCSR) Inventories

MSHA PROGRAM INFORMATION BULLETIN NO. P11-49

FROM:            KEVIN G. STRICKLINKEVIN G. STRICKLIN
                      Administrator for
                      Coal Mine Safety and Health

                      LINDA F. ZEILER LINDA F. ZEILER
                      Acting Director of Technical Support

SUBJECT:    Reissue of P08-16 – Clarification of Procedures to Use When
                   Reporting Self-Contained Self-Rescuer (SCSR) Inventories

Who needs this information?
This Program Information Bulletin (PIB) is intended for underground coal mine operators, independent contractors, miners’ representatives, Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) personnel, and other interested parties.

September 9, 2011

US Labor Department’s MSHA announces $8.44 million in mine health and safety training grants to 47 states and Navajo Nation

From: MSHA

ARLINGTON, Va. — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration today announced that it has allocated $8,441,000 in health and safety training grants for fiscal year 2011.

Grantees will use the funds to provide federally mandated training to miners. The grants cover training and retraining of miners working at surface and underground coal, and metal and nonmetal, mines, including miners engaged in shell dredging or employed at surface stone, sand and gravel mining operations.