The US Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has launched the second phase of an outreach and enforcement programme, ‘Rules to Live By II’ to strengthen efforts to prevent mining fatalities.

MSHA assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health Joseph Main said the new programme has been designed to prevent major accidents from fires to explosions that could be disasters by having mine operators identify and correct all hazardous conditions.

MSHA has identified nine coal standards in its analysis of the violations contributing to one or more of the accidents and the standards that fall into one of four categories include explosions, aftermath of a fire, mining methods and examinations.

MSHA is also paying attention on two other standards dealing with combustible materials and rockdusting to prevent coal mine fires and explosions.

As with the initial 24 standards highlighted during the first ‘Rules to Live By’ initiative, MSHA will begin with outreach to the mining community.

The enforcement personnel will focus more attention through enhanced enforcement and increased scrutiny for violations of the standards.