The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration said this week it has finalized a rule that increases fines for all safety violations.
“MSHA has structured the final rule so that higher penalties will induce operators to prevent and correct violations and be more proactive in their overall approach to miner safety and health, as well as target the most serious safety and health violations with escalating penalties,” MSHA director Richard Stickler said in a prepared statement.
The changes revise existing policy and implement changes required by the Federal Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act, a sweeping safety law passed last summer. The MINER Act was prompted by the January 2006 deaths of 12 miners in the Sago Mine explosion.
Penalties for all infractions will go up, with a maximum of $220,000 for flagrant violations that cause injury or death. And mine operators that fail to notify MSHA of deaths, injuries and trapped miners would face fines from $5,000 to $60,000.
MSHA said the rule would be published in the Federal Register on March 22 and take effect 30 days later.
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