U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-MN) today commended the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) for addressing a flaw in its internal operations that withheld important safety information from mine operators.
In a November 2011 letter to Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health Joe Main, Chairman Kline raised concerns about MSHA's numerous failures to transmit technical support documents to mine operators. The support documents contain recommendations that could improve mine safety. Mines that failed to receive technical reports include Upper Big Branch Mine in Montcoal, West Virginia and the Lucky Friday Mine in Mullan, Idaho.
In response to Chairman Kline's request for a review of agency policy, Assistant Secretary Main stated revised procedures now in place "will ensure that Technical Support investigation findings are timely transmitted to mine operators."
"Safety reports should never fall through the cracks of a federal bureaucracy," said Chairman Kline. "Instead, they must be placed in the hands of mine operators who have a responsibility to address any concerns. I hope this represents a new chapter at MSHA in which important safety and health information is always relayed to our nation's mine operators. The committee will keep a close eye on MSHA's enforcement of this new internal policy."