Massey Mine Violations: A Running Tally

By
Monday, April 12, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Last updated April 22.

On Monday, April 5, an explosion at the Upper Big Branch coal mine in West Virginia killed 29 workers and raised new questions about the safety record of Massey Energy, the company that owns the mine. But as Mike Lillis reported, other Massey mines have been cited for a slew of safety violations that could put miners’ lives in danger. The Freedom Energy Mine #1 in Pike County, Ky., for example, has received 250 citations for safety violations since the Upper Big Branch accident, including 68 violations deemed “significant and substantial,” meaning they are “reasonably likely to result in a reasonably serious injury or illness under the unique circumstance contributed to by the violations.”

Using data from the Mine Safety and Health Administration, TWI has compiled a running tally of safety violations racked up by the ten most-cited Massey-owned tunnel mines:

Mine Violations This Year Violations Since Upper Big Branch Explosion “Significant and Substantial” Violations Since Explosion
Freedom Energy’s Mine #1

(Pike Co., Ky.)

445 250 68
Independence Coal’s Justice #1 Mine

(Boone Co., W.Va.)

170 55 33
Spartan Mining’s Ruby Energy Mine

(Mingo Co., W.Va.)

131 29 8
Aracoma Coal’s Alma Mine # 1

(Logan Co., W.Va.)

129 38 27
Rockhouse Energy’s Mine #1

(Pike Co., Ky.)

121 47 16
Spartan Mining’s Road Fork #51

(Wyoming Co., W.Va.)

107 37 5
Process Energy’s Mine #1

(Pike Co. Ky.)

102 10 4
Solid Energy’s Mine #1

(Pike Co., Ky.)

99 11 5
Independence Coal’s Allegiance Mine

(Boone Co., W.Va.)

83 9 1
Mammoth Coal’s Alloy Powellton

(Fayette Co., W.Va.)

80 0 0

Comments

34 Comments

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[...] Daily life, Government, Law at 10:24 am by LeisureGuy Brayton: The Washington Independent has begun to tally up all of the safety violations in just the ten most commonly cited Massey mines. One of their mines [...]


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[...] 6:44 PM by Category: Articles, Entries, Headlines, News, Posts The Washington Independent has begun to tally up all of the safety violations in just the ten most commonly cited Massey mines. One of their mines [...]


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[...] amounted to “s**t happens;” that since April 5, Massey Energy’s mines have continued to collect safety violations — these are facts that arouse not grief but [...]


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Calculating Mine Safety Violations
Pingback posted July 22, 2010 @ 9:45 am

[...] The investigation comes after an explosion at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch mine in April, which killed 29 people, brought new attention to the issue of mine safety. TWI has done extensive coverage of the explosion and its aftermath. To read our coverage, click here. And for a tally of safety violations at Massey mines in the two weeks following the Upper Big Branch explosion, see here. [...]


Nslone
Comment posted November 11, 2010 @ 4:41 am

I have personally worked in the freedom #1 mine in pike co. Ky. And I have worked in other coal mines in ky and va. I can honestly say as far as safety goes, I would much rather work at the Freedom Energy mine than any mine I have ever worked in. Let us all agree that no mine will ever be truly safe, but safety standards of Massey mines are far better than any mine I have ever been in. I honestly think because Massey mines are so large that they get picked on by msha and state inspectors. I have been in small mines with the same inspectors as the ones throwing the book at massey and they don’t seem to find these same dangerous conditions, even though the smaller mines are by no means up to standards on safety, condition of equipment, cleaning & ventilation. I respect the fact that they don’t want to shut down the mom and pop mines but if they keep up with all the petty violations they are writing against the big mines then they will continue to drive up the price of coal which isn’t good for anyone. And I appreciate what the inspectors are doing for our safety, but I have seen so many petty violations wrote simply because some inspector before them wrote this many violations and it looks bad on them if they don’t find at least that amount of violations They are also afraid of an inspector coming in after them and writing a lot of violations after they have just inspected the mine and not writing many violations. An inspector can see a bolt laying on the ground of the haulage route and say its an abstruction. So many laws are too vague and I think too much pressure are put on the inspectors to write violations. Fact is, its a dangerous occupation and their will be accidents.


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