MSHA: No POV notices issued in last 12-month stretch

By |  March 20, 2020
Photo: Kevin Yanik

The mining industry fully avoided POV notices between Feb. 1, 2019 and Jan. 31, 2020. Photo: P&Q Staff

None of the nation’s 13,000 mining operations met the criteria for a Pattern of Violations (POV) during the Mine Safety & Health Administration’s (MSHA) latest screening period.

MSHA’s most recent screening spanned from Feb. 1, 2019 to Jan. 31, 2020. This was the sixth consecutive screening that resulted in no POV notices, MSHA reports.

Under MSHA regulations, MSHA conducts POV screenings at least once each year.

“Safety and health is what we care about most at the Mine Safety and Health Administration,” says David Zatezalo, assistant secretary at MSHA. “It’s what miners care about, it’s what miners’ families care about and we can see it’s what mine operators care about. We’ll issue Pattern of Violations notices when we need to, but it’s a good feeling to look at the screenings and see no mines meeting the criteria.”

MSHA reserves use of the POV provision – established in the Federal Mine Safety & Health Act of 1977 – for mines that pose the greatest risk to miners’ health and safety, particularly those with chronic violation records.

In January 2013, MSHA published its POV rule to strengthen safety measures in the nation’s most dangerous mines. Under the regulation, MSHA may consider mitigating circumstances before issuing a POV notice. The agency encourages mine operators to implement a corrective action program if they are close to meeting the POV screening criteria.

MSHA provides two online tools to help mine operators monitor compliance: the POV tool, which informs mine operators how they rate against the screening criteria and should take appropriate corrective actions; and the S&S rate calculator, which enables mine operators to monitor their significant and substantial violations.

Between 2011 and 2019, the rate of significant and substantial violations dropped from about 32 percent to 20 percent, according to MSHA.

Avatar photo

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or

Comments are closed