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DIVISION OF MINES

RISK ASSESSMENT PROCESS


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For the purpose of allocating the resources of the Department, the Coal Mine Safety Laws of Virginia mandates that the Department schedule inspections above the minimum required of coal mines, based on the comparative risks at each mine.

A risk assessment will be conducted  for each active mine based on procedures developed with the assistance of the Industry Advisory Committee.  The risk assessment results are used  by the Division of Mines in accordance with Section 45.1-161.81 and 45.1-161.82 of the Coal Mine Safety Laws of Virginia to schedule inspection activities and effectively utilize resources of the Department.  Underground mines are ranked each six months on January 1st and  July 1st using the previous year's data.  Surface mines will be ranked on July 1st.   Risk assessment is calculated based on the following categories of mine data:

  1. Serious Injuries - based on the number of serious injuries investigated at mine/inspection hours;
  2. Violation Rate - number of violations/inspections hours;
  3. Failure to Abate/Imminent Danger - number of Closure Orders and inspection hours;
  4. Non-Fatal Days Lost (NFDL) Injury Rate - based on federal Mine Safety Health and Administration data; and
  5. Regular/Spot Inspection Rate - mine evaluation based on inspector review

The type and frequency of inspection's received by a mine will be determined by its overall score, in conjunction with the tables shown below:

 

Underground Mines

Overall Score Type/Frequency of Inspection
0-1 1 regular inspection per 6 months
2-4        1 regular, 1 spot inspection per 6 months
5-10   2 regular inspections per 6 months
Fatality 4 regular inspections per year
New Mine 4 regular inspections per year

  

       
Surface Mines

0-1 1 regular inspection per year
2-4 1 regular, 1 spot inspection per year
5-10 1 regular, 2 spot inspections per year
Fatality 2 regular inspections per year
New Mine 2 regular inspections per year