Mine Safety:

Labor's Progress in Doing Required Inspections

HRD-86-65BR: Published: Mar 7, 1986. Publicly Released: Mar 7, 1986.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Labor's progress in reporting the number of required, planned, and completed metal/nonmetal mine inspections for fiscal year (FY) 1985 and the required and planned inspections for FY 1986.

GAO found that the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA): (1) made significant progress during FY 1985 in performing mine inspections; (2) plans to perform its required inspections in FY 1986 using the current staffing level while making substantial productivity gains; and (3) completed inspections at a level which, if continued, would accomplish the required regular inspections for FY 1986. GAO also found that: (1) about 27 percent of the metal/nonmetal mines under MSHA jurisdiction did not receive the required number of regular inspections; (2) the preliminary and final inspections for underground mines exceeded the total number of inspections required; (3) MSHA has begun to address the shortfall in surface mine inspections by reallocating its staff; and (4) about 25 percent of the total required metal/nonmetal mine inspections for FY 1986 were performed during the first quarter.

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