For the seventh year in a row, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) found none of the nation’s 12,000 mining operations met the criteria for one of the agency’s toughest enforcement tools, its pattern of violations (POV) screening.

In MSHA’s annual screening of operations from August 1, 2020, to July 31, 2021, the agency found no POV notices. The Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 includes the POV provision for mines that pose the greatest risk to miners’ safety and health, particularly those with chronic violation records.

“While the pattern of violations provision gives us an enhanced enforcement tool that alerts us to mine operations with the most serious violations, we know more must be done to prevent mining fatalities,” Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health Jeannette J. Galanis said. “We have seen too many tragic incidents in 2021 and we encourage mine operators to intensify their efforts to ensure the safety, health and well-being of their miners.”

MSHA provides mine operators with online tools to help monitor their compliance. The POV tool informs operators how they rate against the screening criteria and when appropriate corrective actions are needed. The agency’s S&S rate calculator enables operators to monitor their “significant and substantial” violations.