Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health enforces the Mine Act at all metal and nonmetal mining operations in the United States. This includes conducting inspections and investigations at the mine sites to insure their compliance with health and safety standards required by the Mine Act. When inspectors and investigators observe violations of health or safety standards, they issue citations and orders to mine operators which require the mine operators to correct the problems.
Other important activities required by the Mine Act include: investigating mine accidents, complaints of discrimination reported by miners, complaints of hazardous conditions reported by miners, and criminal violations; developing improved safety and health standards; and reviewing mine operators' mining plans and education and training programs for miners.
Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health consists of a small headquarters office in Arlington, Virginia, and 6 district offices and 47 field offices and field duty stations located throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. There are approximately 12,450 metal and nonmetal operations that employ over 225,000 people, including contractors, and produce about 80 minerals and commodities. Metal and nonmetal mining is separated into four broad categories: metal, nonmetal, stone, and sand and gravel.