Mine safety cited for backlog, lax training
The Federal Eye reports in Wednesday's Post:
The federal government's mine safety agency is not properly tracking the retraining of its veteran inspectors and is facing a mounting backlog of appeals of health and safety violations from mining companies, according to concerned government auditors and lawmakers.
Monday's deadly blast at a West Virginia coal mine, where at least 25 workers died, has focused new attention on the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration, which has more strictly enforced mine safety regulations in recent years. The agency stepped up its efforts after the 2006 Sago (W.Va.) mine disaster killed 12 workers and prompted the federal government's first major reforms in almost three decades.
A little over half of MSHA's roughly 2,400 employees perform inspections of the nation's coal mines, gravel pits, quarries and gold and silver mines, the agency said. Hundreds of new inspectors have joined the payroll since the Sago blast, expanding MSHA's inspection force by more than 26 percent.
| April 6, 2010; 10:26 PM ET
Categories: Agencies and Departments, From The Pages of The Post | Tags: Coal mining, Mine Safety and Health Administration, Mining, Mining accident, Occupational safety and health, United States, West Virginia
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