CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The federal Mine Safety and Health
Administration has set a March 15 deadline to start cracking down on the most common violations cited during fatal mine accident investigations.
Director Joe Main says mine inspectors will look specifically for the common violations as part of the agency's "Rules to Live By" campaign. MSHA kicked off the coal mining portion of the campaign Friday in Charleston, West Virginia.
The campaign is aimed at reducing deaths among the estimated 423,000 people who work at almost 15,000 mines and quarries across the nation. Main says inspectors will look for reasons to increase fines ifnthey uncover violations of 23 regulations that agency research
shows were involved in nearly half of 589 mining deaths from 2000 through 2008.
Currently the campaign is focused on educating miners, mine operators and others about common violations. Main says it's key to continuing to lower the number of deaths in the nation's mines.