Stillhouse Mining fined for safety violations

THE US Mine Safety and Health Administration has fined Stillhouse Mining $US761,000 for safety violations found during a recent inspection of the company's Mine No. 1.

Angie Tomlinson

Four citations issued during the inspection were cited as "flagrant violations" under the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response (MINER) Act.

“Mine operators that show reckless disregard for the wellbeing of their workers must be held accountable for their actions," MSHA assistant secretary Richard Stickler said.

“It was highly likely that a miner would have been seriously injured if these conditions were allowed to persist, so the purpose of this enforcement action is to prevent accidents and injuries from occurring in the first place."

Under the MINER Act, a civil penalty of up to $220,000 may be assessed for each flagrant violation. Stillhouse Mining’s four flagrant violations comprise:

Failure to comply with main mine fan stoppage requirements: $212,700;

Failure to comply with requirements for intentional changes in the ventilation system: $212,700;

Failure to comply with the approved roof control plan: $177,600; and

Failure to perform a pre-shift examination of the workplace prior to the start of work: $158,000.