Civil Penalties Rise for Mine Safety and Health Violations

Feb. 14, 2003
Inflation has hit the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), which raised civil penalty fines for all mine safety and health violations by just over 10 percent.

The increase, effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register, complies with a Congressional mandate that agencies make periodic inflation adjustments in their civil penalties.

"The law provides MSHA with three major tools enforcement, education and training, and technical assistance," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health Dave D. Lauriski. "Civil penalties are an important aspect of enforcement, which is part of what we call our Triangle of Success. Using all the tools provided by law, we are working to make safety a value throughout the mining industry so that we can send every miner home safe and healthy at the end of every working shift."

Under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, MSHA inspectors must issue a citation for each violation of a health or safety standard they encounter. The penalty amount is determined by several factors the law prescribes, including the size of the mine, severity of the violation, degree of negligence and good faith to correct the violation.

The "single penalty" assessment for non-serious violations that are corrected promptly will rise from $55 to $60, and the existing maximum daily penalty will rise from $5,500 to $6,500 for failure to correct a violation within the period permitted. The maximum civil penalty will increase from $55,000 to $60,000 per violation. Civil penalties for miners who violate mandatory safety standards relating to the use or carrying of smoking materials will continue to be assessed at $275.

The rule can be viewed on MSHA's Web site at

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

Sponsored Recommendations

Free Webinar: ISO 45001 – A Commitment to Occupational Health, Safety & Personal Wellness

May 30, 2024
Secure a safer and more productive workplace using proven Management Systems ISO 45001 and ISO 45003.

ISO 45003 – Psychological Health and Safety at Work

May 30, 2024
ISO 45003 offers a comprehensive framework to expand your existing occupational health and safety program, helping you mitigate psychosocial risks and promote overall employee...

DH Pace, national door and dock provider, reduces TRIR and claims with EHS solution

May 29, 2024
Find out how DH Pace moved from paper/email/excel to an EHS platform, changing their culture. They reduced TRIR from 4.8 to 1.46 and improved their ability to bid on and win contracts...

Case Study: Improve TRIR from 4+ to 1 with EHS Solution and Safety Training

May 29, 2024
Safety training and EHS solutions improve TRIR for Complete Mechanical Services, leading to increased business. Moving incidents, training, and other EHS procedures into the digital...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!