Very disturbing report.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- Federal officials have evacuated portions of three Massey Energy coal mines in West Virginia in the past month after surprise inspections, one just four days after the explosion that killed 29 men at the Upper Big Branch mine.
All three inspections, two on March 24 and one April 9, resulted in violations that reflected "a serious disregard for the safety and health of the miners who work at these operations," said Joe Main, head of the Mine Safety and Health Administration.
All three were also prompted by anonymous complaints about dangerous working conditions, he said Tuesday Link
The MSHA seized control of the phone lines so the underground crews could not be alerted. This is the way all inspections should be performed. The result was -
MSHA said the Road Fork mine tipster complained Massey was running two mining machines with inadequate ventilation and cutting deeper into the coal face than its approved plan allowed. The tipster also complained that Massey had failed to report several methane ignitions to MSHA as required.
Spartan Mining was cited for violating ventilation and roof control requirements, and for the accumulation of combustible materials.
The same day, MSHA received complaints about the Randolph Mine, where inspectors found inadequate ventilation to reduce the risk of explosion and the exposure to coal dust. Again, MSHA said, "the operator was also caught taking illegal deep cuts into the coal."
Other violations were issued for inadequate on-shift examinations, insufficient rock-dusting to control the threat of explosions and the extensive accumulation of loose coal, which can provide fuel for mine fires. Inspectors found the coal as deep as 20 inches, MSHA said.
The third inspection was triggered by a complaint of water in the miners' escapeway. MSHA issued six violations for illegal deep cuts, roof-control violations, blockage of the primary escapeway, and inadequate pre-shift and on-shift examinations. MSHA inspectors also found sheared-off and damaged roof bolts, which increased the danger of roof falls.
While I strongly support Mining and the Coal Industry, I do not support unsafe working conditions. This shit must end. The sad part is that many companies preach safety but they pressure the mine foreman for production. Low production equals loss of job. The Foreman take unnecessary risks to get production and that leads to injury. The saddest part of this is that miners go on and take those risks....No job is worth that.
Safety starts at the top and goes down to the worker. Miners will never be safe until the executives let the workers practice what they preach...Safety then production. Yes Massey has some explaining to do.
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