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January 31, 2013
MSHA issues final rule on mine safety POV

A new final rule revises the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s (MSHA) pattern of violations (POV) regulation for hazardous mines. According to the agency, the rule “will ensure that mine operators monitor and address the most hazardous safety problems in their mines.” It also strengthens MSHA’s ability to respond to dangerous working conditions.

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Under the law, MSHA is required to issue a POV notice to any mine operator demonstrating a disregard for miner health and safety through a pattern of significant and substantial (S&S) violations. Among other provisions, the final POV rule:

  • Allows MSHA to issue a POV notice without first issuing a potential POV notice;
  • Establishes general criteria and procedures to identify mines with a pattern of S&S violations; and
  • Reinforces mine operators’ responsibility for compliance with MSHA standards and for monitoring compliance.

“The primary purpose of the POV rule is the restoration of safe and healthful conditions at noncompliant mines,” said MSHA Chief Joseph Maine. “The final rule better achieves the goal of the Mine Act and the intent of Congress.”

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