Surprise Inspections Sting Coal Mines

Tuesday, May 1, 2012 @ 07:05 PM gHale


Nine coal mines were hit with 214 violations in March, with one forced closed for three days, during special inspections by the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).

The one mine closed for 72 hours by inspectors was Redhawk Mining’s Redhawk No. 1 in Floyd County, KY. They also received 40 violations.

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It has a history of releasing methane and was on notice about ventilation. Yet, MSHA said there was insufficient air flow, and water sprayers that control dust weren’t working properly.

MSHA also issued 38 citations and 16 unwarrantable failure orders at Perry County Coal’s E3-1 Mine in Kentucky.

Inspectors found 14 accumulations of explosive material, from paper-thin coatings of coal dust to piles of coal 3 feet thick. MSHA said the hazards had clearly existed for some time.

The impact inspections began in 2010, after West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch mine disaster.



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