Guilty: Foreman Puts Miners at Risk

Monday, August 20, 2012 @ 06:08 PM gHale


A foreman at a Harlan County, KY, coal mine pleaded guilty to charges he put miners at risk.

Bryant Massingale, a foreman at the Manalapan Mining Company’s P-1 mine, in federal court he failed to note hazardous conditions in inspection reports, as required, and failed to correct hazardous conditions. The move happened in the weeks before a mine employee died in an incident.

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Massingale was second-shift foreman at the Manalapan Mining Company’s P-1 mine at Pathfork in June 2011.

That month, the company and three officials exposed miners to the risk of injury or death by violating safety rules, a federal grand jury charged earlier this year.

The company and two other men face charges in the case. The charges include the company and officials had miners work under sections of the mine roof that did not have proper support, which could have resulted in a deadly rock fall.

Those charged are the company; Massingale; operations manager Jefferson Davis; and Joseph Miniard, the mine superintendent.

The move occurred in the weeks before an employee at the mine, David Partin, 49, of Pineville, died June 30, 2011, when a large section of the mine wall fell on him.

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration proposed a fine of nearly $600,000 for violations present when Partin died.

Massingale’s sentencing will be in January.



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