Coal Companies Thwart Safety Measures, Continue to put Lives in Danger

  • Posted on: 15 October 2010
  • By: JesseColeman

According to a recent article in the Washington Post, attempts by federal regulators to enforce safety laws have been stymied by coal companies.  In the wake of multiple deadly disasters and a general culture of sacrificing safety for profit, mine regulators have been issuing more citations and higher penalties for safety violations.  However, instead of abiding by regulations and prioritizing worker safety, Big Coal has buried the regulators in paperwork by contesting the citations, creating a backlog of cases that could take years to resolve.  See graph of coal companies with the most citations beig contested.

Massey Energy, owner of Upper Big Branch, is at the top among companies contesting safety violations issued by the MSHA. It is fighting 39 percent of the 5,880 citations and 83 percent of the $6.9 million in fines it received from January to July, MSHA records show.