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MSHA News Release: [01/14/2009]
Contact: Amy Louviere
Phone: 202-693-9423
Release Number 09-55-ATL


MSHA issues civil penalty exceeding $147,000 to CSA Mining Inc. in Kentucky
Mine operator failed to comply with approved roof control plan


ARLINGTON, Va. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) announced it has assessed $147,300 in fines against CSA Mining Inc. for a flagrant violation issued at its Number 2 Mine located in Letcher County, Ky.

"Roof collapses in underground coal mines are a leading cause of serious injury and death," said Richard E. Stickler, acting assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "It is unacceptable that a mine operator would cut corners on safety measures set up to maintain roof control."

On July 7, MSHA inspectors issued the mine operator an unwarrantable failure order, with a finding that the violations were caused by the operator's reckless disregard to comply with the mine's approved roof control plan. The roof control plan stipulated roof bolt lengths of at least 60 inches; however, the roof bolts were altered and 36-inch roof bolts were installed as primary support. Twenty-four of the 62 roof bolts tested were not adequately installed. A crosscut had been mined to a depth of 25 feet inby the last permanent supports, rather than the approved depth of 20 feet. A roof bolt head and bearing plate had been sheared, leaving 64 square feet of unsupported roof. Numerous roof bolts were installed on greater than the 48-inch centers called for in the roof control plan.

A flagrant violation is defined as "a reckless or repeated failure to make reasonable efforts to eliminate a known violation of a mandatory safety and health standard that substantially and proximately caused, or reasonably could have been expected to cause, death or serious bodily injury. Under the MINER Act, a civil penalty of up to $220,000 may be assessed for each flagrant violation.

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