In the wake of the miraculous rescue in Chile, mining safety has taken on a new urgency worldwide. Last month alone, the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration issued more than 550 violations in 15 states including Idaho.
The Galena mine near Wallace—Idaho's second largest mine—was slapped with 10 violations in September, including accidents, injuries, a fatality and inadequate exams.
MSHA inspectors began surprise mine visits last spring following the explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine, killing 29 West Virginia miners. A spokesman for the U.S. Labor Department said they are targeting mines that merit increased agency attention and enforcement due to their poor compliance history.