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Mine Safety and Health Administration 5 articles

Massey executive sentenced to 42 months for deadly West Virginia mine blast

A former Massey Energy Co. executive has been sentenced to 42 months in prison for his role in the 2010 Upper Big Branch coal mine explosion in West Virginia, which killed 29 miners. David C. Hughart, 53, pleaded guilty February 28 to federal charges of conspiracy to impede the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and conspiracy to violate U.S. laws regulating mine health and safety.  As president of Massey subsidiary company White Buck Coal, Hughart is the highest-ranking executive charged thus far in connection with the Upper Big Branch blast, the deadliest mining disaster in more than 40 years. ... Read More

Final settlements reached in WV mine explosion, criminal charges likely to follow

Alpha Natural Resources, the new owner of West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch Mine, has settled with the remaining families of the miners who were killed in an April 2010 explosion, believed to be the worst mining disaster in 40 years. The 13 families who hadn’t reached an agreement with Alpha or the mine’s previous owner, Massey Energy, accepted settlement offers after more than four days of talks with a mediator, according to the Charleston Gazette. The 16 other families either settled with Massey before the Alpha buyout or reached agreements with the new owner. Details of the latest settlements, including ... Read More

Inactive mining areas filled with dangers for recreation seekers

Mines are some of the most dangerous worksites in the United States, but the inherent dangers associated with mines – falling rock, cave-ins, even drowning and falling hazards – linger long after the last bit of ore has been extracted and the mine abandoned. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), for every one of the 14,000 active mines in the U.S., there are about 36 inactive or closed mines scattered throughout the country. That’s about half a million potentially deadly mines. Northeast Pennsylvania’s Republican Herald, which serves an area abundant in mining operations, ... Read More

Massey Energy hires PR agency to revamp image after mining disaster

The board of Massey Energy, parent company and owner of Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia where 29 miners died in explosion earlier this month, is seeking a public relations boost from a Texas-based firm with political connections. Since the tragic explosion on April 5, Massey’s safety record has come to the public’s attention, revealing a systemic disregard for critical safety measures that could have prevented the disaster had they been followed. The incident has placed Massey Energy and its controversial CEO Don Blankenship under fire from all directions. On the outside, federal regulators, safety advocates, and victims’ families ... Read More

Poor safety record, bad leadership caused mining deaths

Massey Energy, owner of the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia, where at least 25 miners were killed on Monday, has had a long record of serious safety violations, many of which portended Monday’s tragic explosion and subsequent collapse of the mining shaft. Massey is the nation’s fourth largest coal company and the largest coal producer in Central Appalachia, with bituminous coal mines in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Virginia. Despite the size and scope of its operations, however, Massey invests very little in protecting its workers. Between 2005 and Monday, the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) cited ... Read More