An Ohio mine is one of 14 mines identified by the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) in August 2023 as having multiple significant and substantial, or S&S, violations and unwarrantable failures.
The Hopedale Mine, operated by Leesville Land LLC, was found to have 16 violations with 10 being identified as S&S and another nine listed as unwarrantable failure violations.
These violations were discovered during MSHA’s monthly impact inspections, which are conducted at mines that merit increased agency attention due to poor compliance history; previous accidents, injuries, and illnesses; and other compliance concerns.
While inspecting the Hopedale Mine, MSHA found that the mine operator:
- failed to perform adequate workplace examinations
- didn’t properly maintain belts and walkways, which had accumulations of loose coal and coal dust, something the mine operator had been cited for in the past, and
- had enough accumulations of loose coal and coal dust along belts with bottom rollers that an explosion was possible.
Other violations included failing to:
- maintain a clear travel way along belts
- repair or replace damaged belt conveyor components
- identify hazards, and
- prevent hazardous conditions along belts throughout several shifts without taking any corrective actions.
2023 impact inspections identify 1,969 violations
Thirteen other mines in 10 states were targeted in MSHA’s August 2023 impact inspections, resulting in 246 violations. Of those 246 violations, MSHA identified 94 that were considered S&S violations, which are reasonably likely to cause serious injury or illness.
Seventeen were found to be unwarrantable failure violations. Violations designated as unwarrantable failures occur when an inspector finds aggravated conduct that constitutes more than ordinary negligence.
So far in 2023, MSHA impact inspections have identified 1,969 violations, including 587 S&S and 40 unwarrantable failure findings.