The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has launched an aggressive inspection program of 57 mines in the wake of the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion that killed 29 miners. The targeted mines are spread across 10 states and 3 are located in Utah.
The Utah mines that were inspected are the West Ridge, located in Carbon County and operated by West Ridge Resources, Inc., a subsidiary of Murray Energy Corporation, the Horizon, located in Carbon County and owned by America West Resources, Inc., and the Bear Canyon No. 4, located in Emery County owned by C.W. Mining Company. MSHA indicated that the targeted mines have had a history of significant and/or repeat safety violations. Accordingly, the focus was on safety issues related to methane, ventilation, and applications of explosion-reducing rock dust.
The inspection results have not yet been finalized, but they will be made public when they are available. If there are violations, MSHA has promised appropriate fines for all offenders. The other targets includes 1 mine in Colorado, 2 in Tennessee and Virginia, 3 in Indiana and Illinois, 4 in Alabama, 14 in Kentucky, and 23 in West Virginia.
Bret Hanna of Wrona DuBois in Utah, focuses exclusively on litigating plaintiffs’ medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. He has represented clients in state and federal courts, in mediations, and in administrative proceedings in Michigan and Utah since 1991.