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MSHA orders temporary closure of coal mine

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World Coal,

The US Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) undertook special impact inspections at ten coal mines in April, issuing 90 citations and three orders, resulting in the temporary closure of a Kentucky coal mine.

The three unwarrantable failure orders were given to Inspiration Resources’ Mine No. 5 in Pike County, Kentucky. As a result of these violations, the inspectors ordered the mine to close 3400 ft of roadways and its working section. The closure lasted two days while the operator corrected the violations.

The three failure orders were given for an inadequate pre-shift examination, failure to water down roadways to prevent dust and too-wide entries on the mechanised mining unit. “These violations exposed miners to serious hazards associated with roof falls, equipment accidents and respirable coal dust,” MSHA said in a news release.

Inspectors also issued 15 citations to No. 5 mine for hazards associated with mine fires, electrical shock, inadequate ventilation, explosive environments and coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (black lung).

Other mines included in the special impact inspections were Powhatan No. 6 mine in Ohio, American Eagle mine and Gateway Eagle mine in West Virginia, Huffman Highwall mine in Virginia, Rockhampton #3 and River View mine in Kentucky, Mach #1 mine in Illinois, Bridger underground coal mine in Wyoming and Concord mine in Alabama.

Begun in April 2010, the special impact inspections involve mines that the MSHA consider to require “increased agency attention and enforcement due to their poor compliance history of particular compliance concerns.” Since then, the agency has conducted 1142 such inspections, issuing 16 226 citations, 1313 orders and 60 safeguards.

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