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MSHA reorganizing accountability, other offices

Wednesday - 2/8/2012, 12:22pm  ET

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration says it's reorganizing to strengthen agency accountability and demonstrate its commitment to making sure the nation's miners know their rights.

MSHA chief Joe Main says forming the Office of Assessments, Accountability, Special Enforcement and Investigations will help better focus the agency's enforcement tools on the most serious mine safety violators.

Main said Wednesday he's also creating a new deputy director position for that office.

It will oversee special investigations and special enforcement activities such as the agency's pattern of violations and impact-inspection programs

Main says the move will keep the management and support of the existing MSHA accountability program independent from the agency's mine inspection program.

MSHA is also adding specially trained investigators to help with potential criminal and whistleblower cases.

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