Just as police keep an eye on habitual offenders, federal mine safety enforcers should pay special attention to companies that can't seem to comply with the rules. It appears the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration is doing just that.
MSHA officials have notified the operators of four mines, including two in West Virginia, they have patterns of safety violations. Because of that, the mines will be subjected to enhanced oversight.
Both the Mountain State mines, one in Harrison County and the other in Wayne County, are owned by relatively small coal companies. But regardless of size, mining firms have a responsibility to do all in their power to keep their employees safe.
MSHA officials are right to increase scrutiny of the mines - and should not hesitate to close them if safety violations are not kept under control.