3 Named to Examine U.S. Mine Safety Improvements

By JOHN RABY | May 15, 2012

Three experts on mine and workplace safety and health have been selected to research ways to make U.S. coal mines safer.

Their appointments announced Monday by Alpha Natural Resources are part of the company’s settlement with the federal government following the 2010 Upper Big Branch disaster in West Virginia that killed 29 men.

The members of the independent foundation are mining engineering professors Michael Karmis of Virginia Tech and Keith Heasley of West Virginia University, and Dr. David Wegman, a professor emeritus of work environment at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.

Under the $210 million settlement, Virginia-based Alpha will invest $48 million in the foundation that will spearhead mine safety and health research and development.

Karmis says the foundation wants to encourage proposals that solve industry problems.

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