Search Results Archives: April 2011

April 29, 2011

US Labor Department’s MSHA makes agency audit results public

ARLINGTON, Va. – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration today announced it has posted on its website audit reports by the agency’s Office of Accountability from 2008 to 2010. A report summarizing these audits was provided to the House and Senate Appropriations committees in March 2010.

“I firmly believe that, like any responsible government agency, MSHA should continuously review its activities to improve its efficiency and performance,” said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. “Conducting audits is not a new practice for MSHA – they’ve been carried out for years. But beyond that, it’s important to do more than identify and correct specific issues. We take these findings seriously and are implementing new training, and revising policies and procedures to ensure that common problems that have been identified do not crop up again and again.”

April 15, 2011

Joe Main Statement before Senate Labor Committee

In a statement to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Assistant Secretary of Labor Main concluded that,

Going forward, it comes down to this: MSHA cannot be at every mining operation every shift of every day. There could never be enough resources to do that, but even if there were, the law places the obligation of maintaining a safe and healthful workplace squarely on the operator’s shoulders. Improved mine safety and health is a result of operators fully living up to their responsibilities. Taking more ownership means finding and fixing problems and violations of the laws and rules before MSHA finds them — or more importantly — before a miner becomes ill, is injured or is killed. Mines all across this country operate every day while adhering to sound health and safety programs. There is no reason that every mine cannot do the same.

April 7, 2011

MSHA announces online tool enabling mine operators to self-monitor for POV screening

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration today announced the availability of 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.

MSHA developed the monitoring tool based on feedback from the mining industry and others, as well as recommendations from a POV audit report issued last September by the Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General. During the course of the audit, the OIG reviewed MSHA’s policy, criteria, regulations and information systems to establish whether they were reliable and effective in determining and sanctioning habitual violators.