MSHA News Release: [08/30/2007]
Contact: Dirk Fillpot David James
Phone: (202) 693-9406 (202) 693-4676
Release Number 07-1343-NAT
MSHA Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao announces independent review of MSHA's actions at Utah's Crandall Canyon Mine
WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao announced today that an independent team of mine safety experts will review the actions of the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) relative to the Crandall Canyon Mine accident. The review will include actions taken before the August 6 accident and the ensuing rescue operations.
"After discussions with Administrator for Mine Safety and Health Richard Stickler, I am taking the unprecedented step of appointing independent outside experts to evaluate MSHA's actions regarding the tragedy at the Crandall Canyon Mine on August 6 and the subsequent rescue efforts," said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "The Crandall Canyon miners, the rescuers who were injured and perished in trying to save others, and the loved ones who have suffered so much in this tragedy continue to be foremost in our thoughts."
The following two individuals will lead the independent review:
- Joseph W. Pavlovich of Gray, Ky., is a highly respected former MSHA district manager and expert on mine rescue, with 30 years of hands-on experience in underground and surface coal mine safety and health at MSHA. While working at MSHA, he headed three post-accident internal reviews of MSHA's performance and was a team member on another internal review. After retirement from MSHA, he continued to be active in mine safety activities and served as an associate to former MSHA Administrator Davitt McAteer during his review of the Sago Mine disaster.
- Earnest C. Teaster Jr. of King George, Va., is a highly respected former MSHA administrator for Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health and a Coal Mine Safety and Health district manager, with 32 years of experience in mine safety and health issues in a variety of positions at MSHA, ranging from mine inspector to managerial and supervisory roles. Before retiring from MSHA, he also headed three post-accident internal reviews.
# # #