Last week, MSHA announced a revamp of its Data Retrieval System web site. The site enables the public to search for information about particular mines, operators, and contractors, including their violation and enforcement histories. During early usage, the new site appeared to be more graphical, slightly more flexible, and somewhat slower than the previous version.
MSHA’s former DRS site had been in place for years and limited the ways in which users could search for and view information. The new site does not appear to make much additional information available. But, it uses a more modern, graphical format and can display data in a variety of different “visualizations,” including charts, graphs, and maps.
You can now see where all surface metal/non-metal mines are located on a U.S. map, for example, and zoom and pan to explore each one. In addition, the site provides easy access to MSHA’s raw data files (though at least many of those were previously available elsewhere). Finally, it is possible to navigate the site in order to view which companies are top violators in a given year based on penalties. Much of the data is downloadable in PDF or Excel formats.