An Ohio mine was cited for 25 violations, including six deemed as significant and substantial, for failing to perform adequate workplace examinations and repeat violations relating to machine and fall hazards.
The inspection was one of nine impact inspections performed by the U.S. Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) at mines in seven states in September 2023.
Monthly impact inspections are conducted at mines “that merit increased agency attention and enforcement due to poor compliance history, previous accidents and injuries, and other compliance concerns.
Marblehead Aggregates quarry in Marblehead, Ohio was one of the mines that underwent an impact inspection in September 2023 “given its previous enforcement history.”
The inspection identified 25 violations, including 6 considered to be significant and substantial, or S&S.
S&S violations are what MSHA considers “reasonably likely to cause a reasonably serious injury or illness.” Another type of violation, called an unwarrantable failure, involves “aggravated conduct that constitutes more than ordinary negligence.”
At the Marblehead Aggregates quarry, MSHA found:
- that the mine failed to conduct adequate workplace examinations, a failure that “contributed to fatal mine accidents and disabling injuries” in other mining incidents in 2023, and
- several hazards that led to S&S violations, including failure to install and maintain machine guards, provide safe access to work areas, and maintain work areas free from slip, trip and fall hazards.
35 mining fatalities so far in 2023
Through October, MSHA’s impact inspections in 2023 have identified 2,092 violations, including 604 deemed to be S&S and 40 considered unwarrantable failures.
As of Oct. 31, 2023, there have been 35 mining fatalities this year, which makes it important for mine operators “to remain vigilant in ensuring the health and safety of miners,” according to Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health Chris Williamson.
“Given the troubling increase in fatalities this year, MSHA again calls on everyone in the mining community to pay close attention to hazards and conditions that put miners’ health and safety at risk,” Williamson said.