Mining companies may be digging deep and working hard to get the country’s many riches from under the ground to be used by Americans. However, the success of the many mining companies that the country has can be attributed to how they have treated their most important assets; their workers. 2013 was a banner year for the US Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) as the agency, together with various stakeholders in the mining industry, was able to improve the working conditions for the country’s miners.
Taking stage at the recently concluded West Virginia Coal Association’s 41st Annual Mining Symposium in Charleston, W, Va., Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health, Joseph A. Main discussed the many initiatives made by the MSHA over the past year. These proved beneficial for the agency and the whole mining industry as the agency’s programs have translated to declines in the fatality and injury rates of the industry.
Main talked about the improvement of mine safety ever since the agency has implemented reforms. This is characterized by a reduction of the number of chronic violators of mine safety and health standards as well as the better compliance with the same. The mining sector has enjoyed the lowest fatality and injury rates in history as there have been a steady decline experienced from 2011, 2012, and last year.
Moreover, the agency has completed all of its corrective actions in 2013. This was done as a response to the internal review of the Upper Big Branch mine disaster that led to the creation of 100 recommendations to prevent further violations of standards for mine safety and health. To be able to do that, the MSHA has overhauled the mine inspection handbooks. They also implemented many new inspection procedures when it comes to rock dusting of mines that helps prevent coal dust explosions, while implementing a directive system that’s centralized so that consistent implementation and development of the agency’s policies are ensured.
The violations against health and safety guidelines continue to plague workers in the industry. That is why, according to a Los Angeles employment lawyer this is such great news for every worker in the mines? These gains, stake holders believe will greatly benefit the concerns of mine workers, lessening the occurrence of workplace accidents that endanger the miners’ lives. Through these advancement and the continued hard work of the MHSA, there would be no need to file charges about violations.