During their routine mine inspections, The Department of Labor announced that they found over 335 violations in April 2023 alone. Over the course of the year, these investigations have revealed several violations, including 257 significant and substantial violations, likely to cause injury and illness. As well as 18 unwarrantable failure findings, indicating that these are more than simple negligence. These impact inspections are being used to address issues within the mines and prevent issues in the future.
In the April inspections, the MSHA found 355 violations, 92 significant and substantial, and 5 unwarranted failure findings in several cities in different states. Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health, Chris Williamson, stated that these inspections are implemented so that mine operators can be vigilant and act quickly to prevent accidents and possible repeat violations. Learning from their past mistakes allows for fewer fatal accidents and hazards in the future of mine safety.
During the April Inspection, the Martin Marietta Magnesia Special Mine in Woodville, Ohio, presented concerns about the operation of the mine. In the year 2023 alone, there have been three hazard complaints; in addition, the accident rate of this mine is three times higher than the national average. A serious accident that occurred on April 11, 2023, resulted in a miner worker being seriously injured by a falling metal guard, which was a direct result of the mine workers’ failure to maintain it properly. The mine also has increased citations and orders and a high rate of significant and substantial violations compared to other mines.
This inspection has resulted in the MSHA issuing 26 citations, including 14 S&S violations with a rate of 54 percent. This investigation has highlighted two major concerns: There was no barricade in a hazardous area that exposed workers to serious and fatal injuries, and the failure to construct and maintain proper guarding, which has led to serious injuries. The MSHA cited this as a factor in its April 11 injury investigation, noting that they have not learned from their previous accidents.