After Years of Effort, Accident Rates Are Still Unacceptably High in Mines Covered by the Federal Metal and Nonmetallic Mines Safety Act

CED-77-103: Published: Jul 26, 1977. Publicly Released: Jul 26, 1977.

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Limited progress has been made in the safety record of mines other than coal mines since federal enforcement was legislated in 1966. The Mining Enforcement and Safety Administration's (MESA) enforcement authority has not permanently reduced health and safety hazards in the noncoal industry.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: MESA should issue mandatory standards requiring mine operators to provide accident prevention training to all employees; encourage voluntary accident prevention training until the mandatory standards become effective; provide inspectors with guidance on the basic procedures necessary to guarantee thorough inspections; place greater emphasis on enforcing mandatory health and training standards; and assess the quality of its enforcement activities, at least annually, by analyzing inspection statistics relating to various organizational units. The Secretary of the Interior should instruct the Bureau of Mines and MESA to set up and use procedures for coordinating transfer of technology between them; watch how the agencies put into practice the agreed-upon procedures for coordinating the noncoal research program; and continue the Department's recent efforts to increase the funding of the Bureau's research program. To clarify the scope of Federal noncoal mine health and safety research, the Congress should enact legislation specifically authorizing the types of research and the funding they should get.


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