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MSHA News Release: [11/20/2008]
Contact: Amy Louviere
Phone: 202-693-9423
Release Number 08-1708-PHI

MSHA proposes $210,000 in civil penalties against
Guest Mountain Mining and Bresee Trucking
Southwest Va.-based mine operator, contractor cited in serious trucking accident

ARLINGTON, Va. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) today announced it has proposed $165,000 in civil penalties against Bresee Trucking and $45,000 against Guest Mountain Mining Corp. related to a vehicular accident in June 2008 that left a contract truck driver permanently disabled. Both companies are based in Wise County, Va.

"Federal law states that every miner is required - and entitled - to receive the necessary training to perform his job safely and correctly," said Richard E. Stickler, acting assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "Due to inadequate training and faulty equipment, a miner has been seriously injured. The mine operator and contractor must be held accountable for their violation of the law."

On June 6, a driver employed by Bresee Trucking was seriously injured while watering the main haul road with a water truck. As he descended a steep grade, the driver missed a gear and accelerated downhill in neutral. He was unable to slow the truck due to a brake system malfunction. The truck left the road, crossed a ditch and decelerated rapidly in drainage sumps, causing the water tank to detach from the truck frame and slide onto the cab.

MSHA's accident investigators examined the brake system and discovered missing components and significant air leaks. Bresee Trucking was cited for failing to provide task training and hazard training to the driver, as well as failing to have adequate brakes equipped on its mobile equipment. The mine operator was cited for failure to provide hazard training.

Since January 2008, MSHA has assessed civil penalties for 170,000 citations totaling $162 million against mine operators and contractors for violations of health and safety requirements.

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