Whitesburg KY

Stillhouse Mining is fined $761,000

The Associated Press


A southeastern Kentucky coal company was fined $761,000 by federal regulators for safety violations found during a recent inspection.

Stillhouse Mining LLC, a company in Harlan County, was fined for four “flagrant violations” at its Mine No. 1 near Cumberland, federal mine-safety officials said.

“It was highly likely that a miner would have been seriously injured if these conditions were allowed to persist,” Richard E. Stickler, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health, said in a news release.

A flagrant violation is defined as a “reckless or repeated failure to make reasonable efforts to eliminate a known violation” of a safety and health standard, and the failure to do so caused or could have been expected to cause death or serious injury.

A civil penalty of up to $220,000 may be assessed for each flagrant violation.

Stillhouse Mining was fined $212,700 apiece for two citations – failure to comply with main mine fan stoppage requirements and failure to comply with requirements for intentional changes in the ventilation system. It was fined $177,600 for failure to comply with the approved roof control plan, and $158,000 for failure to perform a pre-shift examination of the workplace.

A mine foreman reached at the operator’s office declined to comment on the fines.

In 2005, a Letcher County miner was killed in an underground roof collapse at the Stillhouse Mine No. 1. The miner’s body was recovered four days after the rock fall that trapped him under a rock.

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