The Maple Eagle No. 1 operation in Powellton was initially missed in the US Mine Safety and Health Administration’s most recent screening. After a review of the mine’s injury reporting, officials found 12 unreported or under-reported injuries and a total of 241 unreported lost work days.
The finding resulted in the mine’s eligibility for potential POV status for violations of mandatory health or safety standards under Section 104(e) of the federal Mine Safety and Health Act.
“We will not simply rely on injury data submitted by mine operators when conducting reviews for a potential POV enforcement action,” MSHA assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health Joseph Main said.
“MSHA will continue to conduct audits at mine operations that appear close to qualifying for a potential POV.”
The agency has developed rate-reduction goals for significant and substantial violations for mines that receive potential POV notification. In order to keep from receiving a POV, operations implementing an appropriate corrective action program must reduce S&S frequency rates per 100 inspection hours by 50% during the 12-month review period, or to a rate within the top 50% for all mines under its classification.
Conversely, mines that do not implement a corrective action program must reduce their S&S frequency per 100 inspection hours by 70% during the 12-month review as long as that reduction falls below the national rate for all mines in the class and type during the period, or to a rate within the top 35% for all mines in the classification.
“Maple Eagle No. 1 mine was issued 14.52 S&S violations per 100 inspection hours during the 12-month review period,” MSHA said.
“If the mine implements an appropriate corrective action program, it must maintain an S&S rate of 7.26 or lower during the evaluation period. If a corrective action program is not implemented, the mine must maintain an S&S rate of 4.36 or lower during the evaluation period.”
Federal regulators issued potential POV notifications to 13 mines in seven US states last month. They were the first group to be targeted since major reforms to the POV process were implemented by the agency in October.