Bureau of Mines Home
The Bureau of Mines, headquartered in Vincennes, Indiana, inspects all Indiana underground coal mining operations and certifies specific mining occupations. The Bureau also maintains a mine rescue station, trains mine rescue teams, and collects and indexes mine maps. Currently, there are four active underground mines in the State of Indiana.
The Indiana General Assembly established the Indiana Bureau of Mines and Mine Safety in 1945 as a Bureau within the Indiana Department of Labor, although state authority to regulate mine safety existed in other forms much earlier than 1945. For general information on the structure of the Indiana Bureau of Mines and Mine Safety, see Indiana Code 22-1-1-4 et seq. After the United States Congress passed the federal Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006, the Indiana General Assembly aligned most state law requirements with federal requirements, and generally mines are required to follow the regulatory standards of the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Nevertheless, Indiana still prescribes a number of duties to mine operators, the mining board, and the Bureau of Mines. You can read the state law requirements at Indiana Code 22-10 et seq.
Mine Inspection Reports
Indiana law requires an inspection of each underground mine at least once per quarter by the Bureau of Mines. The Assistant Commissioner and Chief Mine Inspector of the Bureau of Mines, who are certified mine foremen, conducts these inspections. The federal inspectors of MSHA conduct much more frequent inspections of each mine.
Mine Inspection Reports
Coal mining is regulated under a comprehensive federal safety law (Federal Mine Safety and Health Act) that is administered by the Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).
- Underground coal mines are thoroughly inspected at least four times a year.
- With more than 500 coal mine inspectors around the United States (about one for every four coal mines) MSHA spends on average over 200 hours annually inspecting each coal mine.
- MSHA and its inspectors:
- issue citations and establish a time frame for correcting violations;
- remove miners from all or part of a mine in the face of hazardous conditions or repeated failures to correct violations; and
- levy fines that increase with the severity of the violation.
- Coal miners can report violations and can request additional inspections and cannot lose their jobs for doing so.
- Indiana and Alabama are reciprocal states and allow Mine Foreman, Mine Examiner / Fireboss, Hoisting Engineer / Competent engineer, Shot Firer / Competent person to handle explosives and explosive devices to use a temporary license until they successfully pass the corresponding exam on the next examination date.