Contractor practices led to Alpha imminent danger order

FOR the second time in as many months, an Alpha Natural Resources operation has received an imminent danger order from the US Mine Safety and Health Administration for dangerous activity at one of its mines.
Contractor practices led to Alpha imminent danger order Contractor practices led to Alpha imminent danger order Contractor practices led to Alpha imminent danger order Contractor practices led to Alpha imminent danger order Contractor practices led to Alpha imminent danger order

Courtesy Alpha

Donna Schmidt

According to a US Securities and Exchange Commission notice filed by the company last week, Alpha contractor Tom Cook Construction, doing work for Alpha subsidiary Dickenson-Russell Coal, received the order April 18 at the Laurel Mountain Mine in Virginia.

“[The order alleged] that three men were working from an elevated position on a conveyor belt support structure under construction at the … mine, without proper fall protection equipment,” the producer said.

“Dickenson-Russell was not cited, and no injuries occurred in connection with the cited condition.”

The order was terminated the same day as it was issued. Alpha did not release any further public statement on the event.

Last month, one of Alpha’s Pennsylvanian operations received an imminent danger order from MSHA for a similar issue.

In a March 8 SEC filing, Alpha said the Section 107(a) order was given to its AMFIRE Madison operation in Cambria County March 3.

MSHA alleged that three workers for independent construction contractor Mervin Miller Contracting were working on a roof of a building at the mine which was under construction. None had properly attached the fall protection equipment they were wearing.

Alpha noted that no citation had been issued and the order was terminated the same day. No injuries occurred as a result of the cited condition.

In November 2010, federal officials issued a citation to the same minesite after a miner was seen entering an area of unsupported roof.

Alpha said in that same documentation that it would appeal the citation before the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission.

Imminent danger orders are issued by MSHA under section 107(a) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act, also known as the Mine Act.

Section 1503 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street and Consumer Protection Act, amended last July, requires disclosure of all imminent danger incidents as part of new reporting requirements regarding mine safety.

Alpha operates more than 60 active mines and 14 preparation facilities in Appalachia and the Powder River Basin.

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