Feds: Massey Hid Mine Violations Through Two Sets of Safety Records
Thursday Jun 30, 2011 5:15 pm
By Roger Bybee

The federal government has just released its report on the Massey Energy mine explosion, which killed 29 West Virginia miners in April 2010. The key revelation is shocking even for those familiar with Massey’s willingness to endanger miners’ lives whenever greater profits could be attained by ignoring risks.

The feds’ explosive finding: Massey kept two sets of safety records in order to prevent federal inspectors from learning about the severe hazards in the Upper Big Branch mine that Massey officials already knew about. For its own needs, Massey had to keep a record of safety problems, malfunctioning equipment, maintenance needs and other operational details in the mine.

But in a separate record book required by the federal Mine Health and Safety Administration and regularly reviewed by the MHSA, Massey officials systematically deleted any references to the dangers that they had observed first-hand.

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