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Arlington, VA (CompNewsNetwork) - The Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration has announced new screening criteria for the pattern of violations enforcement program, which gives the agency additional enforcement tools to use at mines with a history of violating safety standards. This is a critical first step in reforming the current pattern of violations enforcement program. The agency announced plans to draft new regulations governing the program in the spring, and the new criteria follow calls by Congress and the Department of Labor's Office of Inspector General to fix serious flaws in the current system. MSHA will implement new screening criteria and a new review process for determining whether a mine has exhibited a potential pattern of violations for its 2010 review of mine safety records.
"Since the passage of the Mine Act more than 30 years ago, not one mining operation has ever been placed on a pattern of violations," said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "We have known for some time that the current system is broken and needs to be fixed. This new screening process improves upon the old one, which cast too broad a net and did not distinguish mines with the highest levels of elevated enforcement. This new system will let MSHA focus its attention on those mines that are putting miners at greatest risk … read more