Montana coal mine fined $1 million for violating safety regulations

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Montana coal mine fined $1 million for violating safety regulations

A central Montana coal mine has been fined $1 million for violating environmental and employee safety regulations by failing to report worker injur

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A central Montana coal mine has been fined $1 million for violating environmental and employee safety regulations by failing to report worker injuries and improperly disposing of mine waste, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Montana said.

Signal Peak Energy, through a representative, pleaded guilty in October to four counts of willful violation of health and safety standards at its underground coal mine near Roundup. The mine was also sentenced Monday to three years on probation.

Federal prosecutors said in 2013 and 2015, managers of the mine improperly disposed of mine waste called slurry by pumping it into abandoned sections of the mine. And twice in 2018, mine managers tried to cover up injuries that occurred at the mine by encouraging employees to report they had been hurt at home.

Mines are required to report employee injuries to the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

The vice president of underground operations gave $2,000 in cash to an employee whose finger was crushed at work and had to be amputated, prosecutors said. A miner who suffered a severe laceration on his head caused by falling rock had the days he was unable to work charged against his vacation time, court records said.

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