In 2013, MSHA revised its pattern of violations (POV) regulation in 30 CFR Part 104 to improve the Agency’s effectiveness in implementing its POV authority and to allow MSHA to timely focus on mine operators who have demonstrated a disregard for the health and safety of miners through a recurring pattern of significant and substantial (S&S) violations at their mines.
Congress originally included the POV provision in the Mine Act so that mine operators would manage health and safety conditions at mines and find and fix the root causes of S&S violations, protecting the health and safety of miners. The 2013 revision simplifies the existing POV criteria, improves consistency in applying the POV criteria, and more effectively achieves the Mine Act’s statutory intent. It also encourages chronic safety violators to comply with the Mine Act and MSHA’s health and safety standards.
A mine operator that has a pattern of S&S violations at a mine will receive written notice from MSHA. For each subsequent S&S violation, MSHA will issue an order withdrawing miners from the affected area until the cited condition has been corrected. MSHA will terminate an operator’s POV notice when 1) an inspection of the entire mine is completed and no S&S violations are found or 2) no withdrawal order is issued by MSHA in accordance with Section 104(e)(1) of the Mine Act within 90 days of the issuance of the pattern notice.
Mine operators can determine whether they may be subject to a POV notice by using MSHA’s Pattern of Violations Monitoring Tool. It is the responsibility of mine operators to track their violation and injury histories to determine whether they need to take action to avoid triggering a POV notice. Operators who are at risk of receiving a POV notice are encouraged to implement a corrective action program to reduce S&S violations. More information about corrective action programs can be found in MSHA’s Pattern of Violations Procedures Summary.