MSHA: No mines eligible for POV notice for third consecutive year

By |  August 2, 2017
Safety

For a third consecutive year, none of the mining operations in the United States received a Pattern of Violations (POV) notice. Photo: iStock.com/36clicks

The Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) noted that, for the third consecutive year, none of the nation’s more than 13,000 mining operations meet the criteria for a Pattern of Violations (POV) notice. The most recent screening period for POV notices started July 1, 2016, and ended June 30, 2017.

According to MSHA, the POV provision in the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 is one of its toughest enforcement tools.

The operations that receive POV notices are those that pose the greatest health and safety risks for its employees. The Mine Act allows MSHA to issue POV notices to mine operators that demonstrate a disregard for the health and safety of miners through a pattern of significant and substantial (S&S) violations. The act requires mines that receive POV notices to be issued withdrawal orders for all S&S violations, MSHA adds.

“A number of mine operators have proactively implemented corrective action programs to address specific hazards at their mines to improve miner safety and health, and those efforts are paying off,” says Patricia Silvey, deputy assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. “Throughout the year, MSHA works with mine operators and miners to identify and correct recurring hazards.”

In January 2013, MSHA published its final POV rule, which enables the administration to consider mitigating circumstances before issuing a POV notice. It also encourages mine operators to implement corrective action programs if they are approaching a POV. MSHA has also released a POV monitoring tool and S&S rate calculator to help mine operators stay in check.

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