Massey hit with more violations at Upper Big Branch

May 26, 2010 by Ken Ward Jr.

Federal inspectors have yet to get underground at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch Mine, but they’ve already hit the operation with another nearly two dozen citations — all in the last two weeks.

U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration inspectors cited Massey’s Performance Coal Co. subsidiary for 23 different violations in a “spot inspection” that began May 14 and remains ongoing, according to the latest entries in MSHA’s online computer database.

Most of the citations related to violations MSHA inspectors found in the mine’s electrical systems — presumably problems that could be discovered without going underground — or to surface facilities at the Raleigh County operation.

Only three of the 23 citations were listed by MSHA inspectors as “significant and substantial.” No more serious enforcement orders were issued. But, complete details of these violations are not yet available. MSHA has yet to respond to my inquiry about this inspector or to a request for copies of the citations.

As of this morning, only about half of the violations were listed by MSHA as having been corrected.

2 Responses to “Massey hit with more violations at Upper Big Branch”

  1. Don says:

    Massey is going to throw Performance Coal under the bus. No one told Performance that they should cut corners on safety; all they had to do was to “incentivize” the managers and supervisors at Performance to produce more coal than could be done safely and let the “free market” operate.

  2. Blulady says:

    Great story. I want to thank you for adding to our knowledge of this ongoing nightmare story. Everyone is concentrating on the big oil spill, but somehow forgot that mountains, once removed, can never be replaced. They are the mothers of life on continents, part of the primal engine.

    I listen to the H.O.R.N. radio network where they discuss local issues of great importance such as this. I would never have heard about your blog except Bob Kincaid introduced it on his show.

    Thanks for everything you’re doing here.

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