MSHA says inspections have improved mine safety - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

MSHA says inspections have improved mine safety

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Federal mine safety regulators say violations are down since monthly impact inspections of mining operations began in 2010.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration said Thursday that total violations per 100 on-site inspection hours fell 15 percent in coal mines and 13 percent in metal/nonmetal mines from April 2010 through December 2012.

Significant and substantial violations declined 19 percent in coal mines and 33 percent in metal/nonmetal mines.

But MSHA director Joe Main says some mine operators still haven't gotten the message.

The agency issued 245 citations at nine coal mines and six metal/nonmetal mines during the latest round of inspections in January.

The inspections began after an April 2010 explosion killed 29 coal miners at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia.

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