WorldWide Drilling Resource®

36 AUGUST 2020 WorldWide Drilling Resource ® U.S. Mines Continue to See Improved Safety Records Adapted from Information by the Mine Safety and Health Administration According to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), covering the time between February 1, 2019 through January 31, 2020, none of the country’s 13,000 mining operations, met the criteria for a Pattern of Violations (POV) designation. POV screenings are conducted at least once a year and this was the sixth con- secutive year MSHA found no POV cases. POV, one of MSHA’s toughest enforcement tools, was established in the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977. It is used to identify mines posing the greatest risk to miners, particularly operations with chronic violations. “Safety and health is what we care about most at the Mine Safety and Health Administration. It’s what miners care about, it’s what miners’ families care about, and we can see it’s what mine operators care about,” said MSHA Assistant Secretary David G. Zatezalo. “We'll issue Pattern of Violations notices when we need to, but it’s a good feeling to look at the screenings and see no mines meeting the criteria.” In January 2013, MSHA published its POV rule to strengthen safety measures in the nation’s mines. Under the regulation, MSHAmay consider mitigating circumstances before issuing a POV notice, and encourages mine operators to implement a corrective action program if they are close to meeting the POV screening criteria. MSHA offers two online tools to help operators monitor their site’s com- pliance: the POV tool, which informs mine operators how they rate against the screening criteria and appropriate corrective actions to take; and an S&S, or significant and substantial violations, rate calculator, which enables mine operators to monitor their violations. Between 2011 and 2019, the rate of S&S violations dropped from approximately 32% to 20%. The decline in violations indicates the mining industry is continuing to make significant safety improvements. MSHA’s goal is to prevent death, illness, and injury for U.S. miners, while also promoting safe and healthy mine sites. The agency develops and enforces safety and health rules for all U.S. mines, regardless of size or number of employees. MSHA also provides technical, educational, and other types of assistance to mine operators, while working with the industry, labor, as well as federal and state agencies to improve the overall safety and health conditions for all miners in the country. MIN WWDR photo.