Mining Disaster Report Criticizes Federal Regulators

Official emblem of the Mine Safety and Health ...

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Mining disasters have a lot in common with the natural and made-made disasters we usually discuss in this blog in that both natural and human factors play a role.  In the cases of the  BP Oil Spill Disaster and the Upper Big Branch Mine Failure (April 2010), the federal agencies charged with regulating the industries failed to do their jobs adequately.  The most recent major U.S. mine disaster was discussed in Pro Publica on Oct. 1st. ‘Lack of Leadership’ by Regulators Put Miners at Risk, Gov’t Report Says

Federal mine-safety regulators have failed to take tough enforcement action against mines with a history of repeated violations, according to a government report released this week. The Labor Department’s inspector general faulted the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s “lack of leadership” in administering a program that was supposed to catch mines with patterns of violations.

For those of you interested in mine disasters in the U.S. during the past century, see the Mine Disaster Time Line chart prepared by this author and her colleagues.

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