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United States Department of Labor

US Department of Labor: Spring Regulatory Agenda 2010

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)

Topic: MSHA’S Proposed Rule on Pattern of Violations


  • MSHA will develop a proposed rule to revise the Agency’s regulation on pattern of violations.
  • Under Section 104(e) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, MSHA can issue a pattern of violations notice to a mine operator that has a pattern of recurrent significant and substantial (S&S) violations. An S&S violation is one that could reasonably be expected to lead to a serious injury or illness. The pattern criteria are listed in 30 CFR part 104.

Issues to be addressed by the Proposed Rule

  • MSHA will review the pattern of violations regulation with the goal of simplification and improved consistency in the procedures for issuing pattern of violations notices.
  • MSHA is considering how it could use the pattern of violations process to require operators to implement effective comprehensive safety and management programs aimed at fixing a problem before it occurs.
  • MSHA is also considering simplifying the procedures for applying the pattern criteria so that operators would be required to more quickly and effectively address systemic hazards and allow MSHA the flexibility to investigate different kinds of patterns.