TROY – Federal regulators have levied more than $400,000 in new fines against managers of Troy Mine for not adequately protecting underground workers from falling rocks even after an employee was killed in a cave-in.
The $417,400 in new fines, tallied in four counts of failing to adequately support the underground roof, come after more than $100,000 in fines were levied in March over similar concerns.
Mike Ivins, 55, was killed in July during a cave-in, and the Mine Safety and Health Administration has ruled that he died because management failed to properly shore up the rock roof.
Since then, federal inspectors have handed Troy Mine 148 citations and 40 orders, which are considered more serious than citations. The most recent fines came as part of an MSHA inspection that resulted in 22 citations and eight orders.
“We will be contesting those fines,” said Carson Rife, vice president of operations at Revett Minerals. “I just learned about these latest assessments at the end of last week, and I was quite startled by the magnitude.”
Regulators also noted that the mine’s shift supervisor and its foreman had “engaged in aggravating conduct constituting more than ordinary negligence.”
Revett is contesting many of the 188 violations received since Ivins’ death, including almost all violations relating to support systems. Rife said the company would not pay the fines until the allegations can be resolved. He also noted that the mine has not had any lost-time accidents since the fatal accident.
“The overall safety record at the mine is evidence of our commitment to safety,” he said. “We want the mine to be as safe as it can possibly be.”
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