Preliminary Accident Reports, Fatalgrams and Fatal Investigation Reports

MSHA News Release: [12/19/2013]
Contact:    Amy Louviere
Phone:       (202) 693-9423
Release Number: 13-2446-NAT

MSHA announces results of October and November impact inspections

ARLINGTON, Va. – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration today announced that federal inspectors issued 174 citations, 11 orders and two safeguards during special impact inspections conducted at 12 coal mines in November. In October, MSHA conducted impact inspections at six coal mines and three metal and nonmetal mines, where inspectors issued 120 citations and 10 orders. Impact inspections were curtailed during part of October due to the government shutdown.

The monthly inspections, which began in force in April 2010 following the explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine, involve mines that merit increased agency attention and enforcement due to their poor compliance history or particular compliance concerns.

On Nov. 21, MSHA conducted an impact inspection at Maple Coal Co.’s Maple Eagle No. 1 Mine in Fayette County, W.Va. Inspectors traveled belt lines, inspected mobile and stationary equipment, and evaluated section ventilation and roof control. They issued 36 citations and six orders; it was the eighth impact inspection at this mine.

During the inspection, enforcement personnel observed a 20-foot crack in the mine roof at a belt feeder where miners regularly travel. Inspectors also found an area of loose roof strata 60 feet long and up to 8 feet wide where miners were at risk of being struck by falling rock. MSHA issued a 104(d)(1) withdrawal order for violating the approved roof control plan and failing to install needed roof supports. The operator was also cited for a loose coal rib approximately 24 feet long that was cracked and separating from the solid wall. These hazards had the potential to cause catastrophic injuries or fatalities to miners.

Maple Eagle No.1 Mine was issued three 104(d)(1) withdrawal orders for violating the approved ventilation plan. The operator did not properly construct or complete several overcasts (enclosed airways used to maintain ventilation) in several entries. The operator also failed to maintain intake airways clear of combustible materials, and had let water accumulate in one of the entries. The mine operator was cited for failing to identify and correct in its preshift inspection hazards that were obvious, extensive and had existed for several shifts.

While monitoring the mine’s communication system, MSHA detected and cited the mine operator for providing advance notice.

Since April 2010, MSHA has conducted 687 impact inspections and issued 11,427 citations, 1,052 orders and 48 safeguards.

Editor’s Note: MSHA’s Monthly Impact Inspection Lists for October and November 2013 are attached to this email.

Fatalgram Posted - Brown Brothers Sand Company - Witched Stephen Plants

Fatality #21 - December 13, 2013
Falling/Sliding Material – Georgia - Construction Sand and Gravel
Brown Brothers Sand Company - Witched Stephen Plants

METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On December 13, 2013, a 53-year old utility worker with 19 years of experience was killed at a sand mine.
 The victim was standing near the edge of a bank when it collapsed engulfing him.


MSHA News Release: [11/26/2013]Contact:    Amy Louviere
Phone:       202-693-4659
Release Number 13-2309-NAT

MSHA issues fourth POV notice under revised rule
Fork Creek No. 1 Mine failed to report 239 days of lost-time injuries

ARLINGTON, Va. – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration announced today that Coal River Mining LLC’s Fork Creek No. 1 Mine in Lincoln County, W.Va., has been put on notice of a pattern of violations of mandatory health or safety standards under Section 104(e) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977. An MSHA audit revealed that the mine operator failed to report miner injuries equivalent to 239 days of lost time during the review period.

MSHA cited 158 significant and substantial violations at Fork Creek No. 1 from Sept. 1, 2012, through Aug. 31, 2013, including 14 for roof and rib hazards, 21 for ventilation hazards and 21 for explosion hazards. The mine’s S&S issuance rate was 8.83 per 100 inspection hours during the review period, compared to a rate of 3.62 for all underground coal mines during the same period. During the review period, the mine ranked fifth in the nation (tying with one other operation) in elevated citations and withdrawal orders with 24 issuances.

On Oct. 24, 2013, MSHA issued the first three POV notices under its revised rule that went into effect in March. Fork Creek No. 1 Mine, along with several other operations, was undergoing an audit of its injury records at the same time.

Under the Mine Act, MSHA is required to identify mines exhibiting a pattern of significant and substantial violations and authorized to issue POV notices to mine operators that, through this pattern, demonstrate a disregard for the health and safety of miners. A POV notice, one of the agency’s toughest enforcement actions, is reserved for the mines that pose the greatest risk to the safety of miners. An S&S violation is one that is reasonably likely to result in a reasonably serious injury or illness. The Mine Act requires mines that receive an S&S violation during any inspection within 90 days of a POV notice be issued a withdrawal order for that violation and for all subsequent S&S violations–removing miners from affected areas and abating the violation until an inspection of the entire mine finds no S&S violations.

“While it took an MSHA audit to discover the extent of unreported injuries at the mine, Coal River was also aware of the compliance issues it was experiencing and did not take sufficient action to make necessary safety improvements,” said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health.

This completes MSHA’s current round of POV notifications.

2013 Preliminary Accident Reports, Fatalgrams and Fatal Investigation Reports Metal and Nonmetal Mines

Fatalities to Date for 2013: 18  Last Updated: 11/23/2013

Fatality #1 - January 7, 2013
(Victim Died January 19, 2013)
Fall of Highwall – Kentucky – Crushed, Broken Limestone NEC
Lafarge West, Inc – Three Rivers Quarry

Fatality #2 - January 21, 2013
Machinery – Nevada – Lime
Lhoist North America of Arizona Inc. – Apex Quarry and Plant

Fatality #3 - March 27, 2013
Explosives and Breaking Agents – Missouri – Crushed, Broken Limestone NEC
Fred Weber Inc – North Stone

Fatality #4 - April 4, 2013
Falling/Sliding Material – Arizona – Copper Ore NEC
Freeport-McMoRan Bagdad Inc – Freeport-McMoRan Bagdad Inc

Fatality #5 - April 16, 2013
Falling/Sliding Material – Louisiana – Salt
North American Salt Company - Cote Blanche Mine

Fatality #6 - April 27, 2013
Powered Haulage – Texas – Gypsum
Allied Custom Gypsum - ACG #1 Shamrock

Fatality #7 - May 17, 2013
Powered Haulage – New Mexico – Molybdenum Ore
Chevron Mining Inc - Questa Mine & Mill

Fatality #8 - June 2, 2013
Powered Haulage – Nevada – Gold Ore
Newmont USA Limited - Exodus

Fatality #9 - June 13, 2013
Powered Haulage – California – Crushed, Broken Stone NEC
Stevens Creek Quarry Inc - Stevens Creek Quarry

Fatality #10 - August 5, 2013
Machinery – New York – Crushed, Broken Limestone NEC
MJL Crushing LLC - MJL Crushing LLC

Fatality #11 - September 16, 2013
Powered Haulage – Missouri – Crushed, Broken Limestone NEC
Con-Agg of MO, LLC - Huntsville Quarry

Fatality #12 - September 18, 2013
Falling/Sliding Material – Kentucky – Crushed, Broken Limestone NEC
Gaddie-Shamrock LLC - Caldwell Quarry

Fatality #13 - September 19, 2013
Powered Haulage – Pennsylvania – Crushed, Broken Slate
T. G. Mountain Stone - Northrup Quarry

Fatality #14 - October 17, 2013
(Victim Died October 19, 2013)
Slip/Fall of Person – California – Cement
National Cement Company Of California Inc - Lebec Cement Plant

Fatality #15 - November 7, 2013
Powered Haulage – Georgia – Crushed, Broken Granite
Vulcan Construction Materials, L.P. - Lithia Springs Quarry

Fatality #16 & #17- November 17, 2013
Explosives/Breaking Agents – Colorado – Gold Ore
Star Mine Operations, LLC - Revenue Mine

Fatality #18 - November 18, 2013
(Victim Died November 22, 2013)
Electrical – Kentucky – Crushed, Broken Limestone NEC
Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel Company - Cumberland River Quarry

2013 Preliminary Accident Reports, Fatalgrams and Fatal Investigation Reports:  Coal
Fatality #1 - January 26, 2013
Machinery - Surface - Kentucky
T and T Energy, LLC - Begley Resources #1 Mine

Fatality #2 - February 6, 2013
Exploding Vessels Under Pressure - Facility - West Virginia
Midland Trail Energy, LLC - Five Mile Prep Plt & Refuse Impoundment

Fatality #3 - February 7, 2013
Hoisting - Underground - West Virginia
Affinity Coal Company, LLC - Affinity Mine

Fatality #5 - February 12, 2013
Powered Haulage - Underground - West Virginia
Consolidation Coal Company - Loveridge #22

Fatality #4 - February 13, 2013
Machinery - Underground - Illinois
Knight Hawk Coal LLC - Prairie Eagle South Underground Mine

Fatality #6 - February 19, 2013
Powered Haulage - Underground - West Virginia
Affinity Coal Company, LLC - Affinity Mine

Fatality #7 - March 13, 2013
Fall of Roof or Back - Underground - West Virginia
Newtown Energy, Inc. - Peerless Rachel Mine

Fatality #8 - March 22, 2013
Fall of Roof or Back - Underground - Utah
Castle Valley Mining, LLC - Castle Valley Mine #4

Fatality #9 - June 6, 2013
Powered Haulage - Underground - Alabama
Jim Walter Resources Inc - No 7 Mine

Fatality #10 - July 2, 2013
Powered Haulage - Underground - Illinois
Peabody Midwest Mining, LLC - Wildcat Hills Mine

Fatality #11 - July 31, 2013
Machinery - Surface - Pennsylvania
Amerikohl Mining Inc - Amerikohl Strips

Fatality #12 - August 6, 2013
Fall of Face Rib or Highwall - Underground - Kentucky
Lone Mountain Processing - Huff Creek #1 Mine

Fatality #13 - August 16, 2013
Machinery - Surface - Wyoming
Thunder Basin Coal Company LLC - Black Thunder

Fatality #14 - July 3, 2013
(Determined to be Chargeable September 4, 2013)
Other (Drowning) - Facility - Pennsylvania
Maple Creek Mining Incorporated - Maple Creek Preparation Plant

Fatality #15 - October 4, 2013
Powered Haulage - Underground - West Virginia
McElroy Coal Company - McElroy Mine

Fatality #16 - October 5, 2013
Powered Haulage - Underground - Illinois
White County Coal LLC - Pattiki Mine

Fatality #17 - October 6, 2013
Machinery - Surface - Wyoming
MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company - Jim Bridger Mine

Fatality #18 - October 11, 2013
Powered Haulage - Underground - Indiana
Five Star Mining Inc. - Prosperity Mine

Fatality #19 - November 4, 2013
Fall of Face/Rib/Highwall - Underground - Illinois
M-Class Mining LLC - MC#1 Mine

Fatality #20 - November 23, 2013
Machinery - Underground - Ohio
American Coal Corporation - Century Mine