Usually, a business knows it’s being investigated by OSHA, MSHA, or any other safety agency because the inspector comes to the company’s facility. A recent safety citation shows that’s not always the case.
MSHA issued citations to Cobalt Coal Corp. after watching the debut episode of Coal, a Spike TV show based at the company’s Westchester mine in West Virginia.
Federal inspectors who watched the episode have cited the mine for safety violations, including:
- using the wrong tool to pull down loose roof rock for a dramatic collapse that was caught on camera, and
- allowing a worker to walk alongside a continuous mining machine, creating the potential for injury.
It’s the first time MSHA has issued citations based on TV footage.
The show debuted March 30. MSHA issued citations on April 5.
Cobalt’s CEO Mike Crowder says the citations don’t make him sorry that he agreed to the show.
But the recent federal charges aren’t the only ones resulting from the show.
West Virginia’s Officer of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training obtained an advance copy of the first episode and cited Cobalt for similar violations before the show aired.
And MSHA also cited the company for 19 health and safety violations inspectors witnessed during filming of the show which took place from Nov. 9, 2010 to Jan. 21, 2011.
Do you think agencies should be able to fine a company based on video used in a TV show? Let us know what you think in the Comments Box below.