WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two mining operations in southern West Virginia have been placed on notice by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration for showing a pattern of violations.

MSHA chief Joe Main said Thursday Brody Mining LLC’s Brody Mine No. 1 in Boone County and Pocahontas Coal Company’s Affinity Mine in Raleigh County have demonstrated a disregard for the health and safety of miners through a pattern of significant and substantial violations. (S&S violations)

MSHA’S POV notice is given to the mines that pose the greatest risk to safety. When S&S violations are issued the mine is required to withdraw, which basically shuts down operations.

“MSHA’s new POV rule, which we will vigorously enforce, enhances protections for miners and shifts the responsibility for monitoring compliance and taking action to prevent POV enforcement actions to the operator,” Main said in an agency news release.

The Brody No. 1 Mine received 253 S&S violations from MSHA. It had nearly 1,800 lost work days. MSHA said Brody failed to report some of those injuries to the agency.

The Affinity Mine received 124 S&S violations. MSHA said there was a high negligence or reckless disregard for the health and safety of miners. Affinity received 35 closure orders during the review period.

Tram Energy LLC’s Mine No. 1 in Floyd County, Ky., is the third mine on MSHA’s POV list.

MSHA revised its POV rule earlier this year. The three mines named were the first under the new screening provisions.


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  • scott

    I worked @ brody it was a very unsafe place to be they do not care about you or any one of the other men just$.

  • Chris Gibson

    Safety of coal miners is essential but half the laws being enforced are a joke just the government trying to control everything a person does. For example I run a continuous miner if me and my crew are fine without hanging curtain or not having sufficient water pressure on the sprays it should be none of there concern. I could go on for days with bull but doesn't really matter the hole mining industry is doomed there is no way that we can run coal with today's laws

  • Western Coal Miner

    There is no difference as to the location of the mine, it's the same all over the country. What these miners are saying is the God's honest truth. FOLLOW THE MONEY!

    It used to be that the Coal Mine owners were the owns to complain about, but not anymore. The government has forced them to the back of the bus. But plain as day, if you FOLLOW THE MONEY, you'll see the true story.

    Big money runs the country. Plain and simple. But who has the largest payroll in the country? It's not the coal mine operators and it's not the unions. That's right people, its the federal government. Greed Corrupts. We'll all agree on that.

    With the loss of paychecks due to the shutdown, the behaviors will get worse. Count on it.

    Miners know one thing, their safety is in their owns hands. The governement, the union, the CEO sitting in an office can all say they care and support the miners safety. But underground is an equalizer; it's looking after your own and yourself that allows you to brass out at the end of shift.

    Wake up and vote your conscience and your own mind. Career politicians are just that. We all need to puch for folks that have never been politicians before, but are honest and trustworthy with a good heart in them to run for office. We need to take back our own country.

    Stay safe!

  • Fred Tarkington

    I was out to eat with my wife. I overheard some people talking about the government shutdown. These people worked for MSHA. We got to talking and I told these people that I worked for Affinity Coal. They said "yes we know that mines. The 2 fatalities that you had back to back really helped us a lot. We got a flood of money from the government to put more people there". I said you have just confirmed what I already know. You are not here for anyone's safety your here for the money. From above comments. S&S for no toliet paper on the section. It had really gotten that bad. I have no respect at all for MSHA and any of it agencies....

    • steve

      Also, Dont forget the one they love to write for no cups for drinking water!

  • Jimmy Clark

    I have been mining coal for 23 years. I've worked at a lot of mines in my career, some big mines and some not. I worked for indepence coal , I . O. Coal , several mines for James Trent in Wyoming county and McDowell county. Also worked for patriot coal at the harris#1 mines and black oak mine. I've been a foreman for 13 years. All this being said I've got a lot of experience in mining. The violation these guys write is almost never what they write it out to be . This mines like a lot of others is a safe mines,but like all mines there are potential dangers that arise in the mines, but no one wants to see anyone hurt or killed and most all of us would consciously fix or report any danger seen.i appreciate what the msha and state inspectors do to make it safe, but what people don't realize is that they take a simple violation change the words around to make it sound worse so it can be considered a s&s violation. Not having toilet paper on the section was a s &s violation. That is just 1 example of how the government does the mining industry

    • Western Coal Miner

      It is time to put an end to frivolous actions that endanger good men and women! I'm sorry but I just can't abide and S&S violation for lack of toilet paper. Is this really the best federal inspectors can do? Our taxes pay for thier service, we need to demand more.

      It's time for a revolution!

      I'm inviting everyone in my community to stop by the local MSHA field office and give them a roll of toilet paper!

      I think you boys should as well. Let the toilet paper revolultion begin. Spread the good word, and invite the mine inspectors to hang a roll from their belt to remind them of the real reason they inspect mines; SAFETY!

      And damn, it just may come in handy some day?

  • justin sizemore

    Something else, they reported on how many lost time hours we have, do u know how many men has worked there at this mine? How many fatalities? NONE I have worked at Brody for 6 1/2 years and in many different ways it has been one of the safest mines I have ever been around or in. Not because of MSHA but because of the men.

    • jim epperly

      justin you know that I worked ther and have been in a lot more mines than you and i cam honestly say that brody is the most unsafe mines ever started up by any company. and there is alot more wrong doing goes on there than you know.

  • justin sizemore

    My name is justin Sizemore and I work at the brody #1 mine in Boone county. I think this pov that msha has just put us on is bogus. Yes we have received a number of violations but this is a four section mine, that is like four different mines. Some of the violations are respectfully correct and msha has our safety in their best interest. There is also a lot of violations that get written just so the inspector write more violations than the other inspector. At one time I thought msha had our safety as #1, now since ubb and Obama issued whatever he done afterwards, msha only tries to see how many violations they can write to show they are doing their jobs. What about our jobs our families that has to pay for msha being caught with their pants down. (UBB)