Since the tragedy of Upper Big Branch Mine in 2010, the worst mining tragedy in forty years, the number of inspections has risen dramatically. Since 2010 there has been around eight hundred impact inspections at mine in the US. In July alone the Mine Safety and Health Administration inspected fifteen coal mines and three other mines. During those inspections they issued one hundred ninety citations and eight additional orders. While this may appear to be an indication of poor adherence to safety protocol, what it actually does is point out issues, document them and provide a workable list of goals for improving mine safety.
“It put the agency on notice that they needed to do a better job, put the operators on notice that they need to do a better job, and miners. Miners became more conscientious about some of those safety issues that they needed to be aware of.” said Dennis O’Dell, who works with the occupational health and safety for the United Mine Workers of America as an administrator.
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