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MSHA News Release: [02/16/2011]
Contact:   Amy Louviere
Phone:    (202) 693-9423
Release Number 11-224-NAT

MSHA announces results of January impact inspections

ARLINGTON, Va. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration today announced that federal inspectors issued 377 citations and orders during special impact inspections conducted at 15 coal and seven metal/nonmetal mine operations last month. The coal mines were issued 208 citations and seven orders; the metal/nonmetal mines were issued 148 citations and 14 orders.

Beginning Jan. 19, MSHA inspectors conducted an impact inspection at the Queenstake Resources USA's Jerritt Canyon Mill in Elko County, Nev. They issued 24 citations and seven 104(d)(2) orders. Two of the 104(d)(2) orders were issued in conjunction with a 107(a) imminent danger order. One 104(d)(2) order was issued for the operator's failure to examine each working place at least once per shift for conditions that may adversely affect safety or health. A second 104(d)(2) order was issued in conjunction with a 107(a) order, for operating equipment that posed hazards to miners. A 107(a) order was issued in a lab in which inspectors detected a strong, irritating odor and white mist/vapors coming off a heated tray inside a ventilation hood. A sample was taken immediately, indicating that nitric acid potential exposure was above the established short-term exposure limit. The health risks from overexposure include severe lung damage, such as pulmonary edema.

Since April 2010, MSHA has conducted 220 impact inspections. These inspections have resulted in 4,114 citations, 384 orders and 13 safeguards.

Editor's note: A spreadsheet containing the entire results of January's impact inspections accompanies this news release.

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