By Renny Mackay
Rock Springs, Wy –
The U-S Mine Safety and Health Administration gave out twice as many notices of violation at Wyoming's trona mines in 2009 compared to 2008. The violations were for everything from failing to install guards on moving parts that could injure workers... to failing to cordon-off slippery work surfaces. Nevertheless, accidents at the trona mines decreased.
The head of the Wyoming Mining Association, Marion Loomis, says writing violations does not increase safety, but inspections do.
"Being visible at mines definitely has an impact on safety culture at mine sites. Enforcement doesn't do it alone. But, it has a role."
M-SHA says the increase in violations is not out of the ordinary. The agency did not have an explanation for what caused the trend. At the state's coal mines, there was a similar trend of increased citations and decreased accidents, but it was not as extreme.