Coal mine safety is being debated among industry officials who say that two new safety rules proposed after a fatal explosion in West Virginia last year should be dropped.
The new safety rules proposed by federal regulators following an explosion that killed 29 West Virginia miners last year would require mine operators to conduct more extensive safety examinations, according to news reports.
The West Virginia Coal Association and Alpha Natural Resources Inc., the third-largest U.S. coal producer, and mine safety officials with the states of West Virginia and Illinois urged the federal to drop the proposal.
"The inspections proposal would require miners to find, fix and record serious regulatory violations while simultaneously conducting mandatory safety examinations to check for hazardous conditions such as elevated levels of explosive methane gas," according to news reports.
"Specially certified miners conduct the examinations, but Coal Association lobbyist Chris Hamilton said they're not trained to know federal regulations and shouldn't be asked to perform the job of a federal inspector."
Opponents of the safety measures said the "rule would place unrealistic burdens on mine examiners and exposes them to MSHA citations if they miss violations, which often are open to interpretation."
As a Beaufort personal injury lawyer, I hope the industry officials and Mine Safety and Health Administration can work together to make the mining workplace safer.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a workplace accident, contact a personal injury lawyer in Beaufort .