Mine Safety Office in West Virginia Urges More Reforms

January 8, 2014

West Virginia mining regulators are calling for more reforms to protect coal miners’ health and safety.

A report from the Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training proposes tougher state standards to prevent explosions and revised inspection and enforcement measures. The report also proposes requiring proximity-detection systems that would prevent common crushing and pinning accidents.

The Charleston Gazette says the office released the report ahead of the 2014 legislative session that begins Wednesday.

The report also calls for the Legislature and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to provide more money for coal mine regulation and safety training. It says pay increases are needed to maintain a quality inspection staff.

Preliminary federal data released Monday show West Virginia had the most coal mining deaths in 2012, when six workers were killed.

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