West Virgina Mine Safety Board Balks at Mandating Proximity Detectors

December 17, 2013

Members of a West Virginia board have decided to gather more industry and labor proposals on so-called proximity detectors before they require mine operators to install the equipment.

The Thursday meeting of the Board of Coal Mine Health and Safety was the fourth meeting in row that members could not agree on whether to mandate the devices, which are intended to curb crushing deaths and injuries in underground mines.

Instead, board voted to send the matter to a subcommittee to sort out industry and labor proposals. The subcommittee will meet Jan. 9.

The sidestep by the board is the latest the latest maneuver since a Charleston Gazette report in August that detailed the state’s inaction on the issue.

Proximity detection systems are aimed at preventing a common mining accident.

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