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From the Assistant Secretary's Desk — Corrective Action Plan: Upper Big Branch Mine-South Internal Review

Joseph A. Main - Assistant Secretary of Labor  for Mine Safety and Health In June, 2012 we began posting information on our website concerning the corrective actions MSHA has taken in response to the recommendations of the internal review of MSHA's actions at the Upper Big Branch (UBB) mine. Today, we are posting the corrective actions MSHA has taken since the last posting. This covers the first quarter of 2013. These include corrective actions to integrate a common tracking system to track retraining of mine inspectors and specialists and to provide training for underground enforcement personnel, including supervisors and managers on bleeder evaluations, as well as actions related to Educational Field Services training specialists.

By providing this information, we intend to keep the mining community, interested parties and the public informed of the actions we are taking and the timeline for completing them. MSHA will continue to post information on its corrective actions on a quarterly basis.

As I have said on a number of occasions, the tragedy at UBB, which resulted in the deaths of 29 miners and injuries to 2 others, unquestionably shook the very foundation of mine safety and caused us all to take a deeper look at the weaknesses in the safety net expected to protect the nation's miners. It caused us to re-double our efforts to instill a culture of prevention in mining. There has been an intense examination of that accident, and MSHA has undergone significant change as we have sought to find and fix deficiencies in mine safety and health. Our corrective actions and other initiatives are part of MSHA's ongoing efforts to implement and enforce the nation's mine safety laws and to improve health and safety conditions in the nation's mines so miners in this country can go to work, do their jobs, and return home to their families safe and healthy at the end of every shift.

Additional Information

  • Corrective Action Plan: Upper Big Branch Mine-South Internal Review (As of 3/31/2013)