Archives for August, 2007

World Water Week: What’s in Your Tap?

By Liz Borkowski Aman at Technology, Health & Development reminds us that it’s World Water Week, and provides a great collection of water-related links for the occasion. Several of the articles are about a backlash against bottled water – apparently, a critical mass of people has just discovered that a) tap water is often as…

Join an on-line chat at 1:00 pm today (8/16) on technology to locate trapped miners. On day 11, the rescue efforts continue for the six trapped miners at a Utah coal mine.  A third borehole (2″) punctured the mine workings yesterday afternoon to allow a camera to be lowered into the mine to scan for any sign of the…

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that a third borehole has reached a cavity in the Crandall Canyon mine, but efforts to lower a microphone into it have failed so far. The Tribune has the most extensive coverage of the rescue efforts, and in a blog post yesterday Arianna Huffington contrasts its performance to that of…

Occupational Health News Roundup

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its preliminary numbers on 2006 fatal occupational injuries, and Katherine Torres at Occupational Hazards reports on what they show. The rate of fatal work injuries declined slightly, from 4 per 100,000 in 2005 to 3.9 in 2006, but some industries showed increases: • The 47 coal mining fatalities, many…

Mr. Murray’s Misstatements

by Tom Bethell                                                                                                      (Posted with permission from The Mountain Eagle, Whitesburg, KY) As we go to press, six coal miners remain trapped in Murray Energy’s Crandall Canyon Mine, near Huntington, Utah. Nothing has been heard from them since a portion of the mine caved in on August 6, and the heartbreakingly slow efforts to reach…

History of Rockbursts at Crandall Canyon?

In “Memo shows mine already had roof problems,” (Aug 12) the Salt Lake Tribune‘s Robert Gehrke first reported on a history of rockbursts at the Crandall Canyon mine.*  I first learned this on NPR‘s Morning Edition (Aug 14) when Frank Langfitt reported that in March of this year, another severe rockburst occurred at the Crandall Canyon coal mine.  Apparently, no…

Stiff OSHA Penalty for Pennsylvania Employer

OSHA’s Area Office in Pittsburgh issued 46 citations, including 16 repeat violations and one willful against Shane Felter Industries, Inc. of Uniontown, PA. A proposed penalty of $166,400 accompanied the citations.   OSHA’s Area Director Robert Szymanski said: “Shane Felter Industries’ refusal to remove hazards ultimately threatens the safety and health of its employees.  It is imperative…

Three Deaths at Indiana Mine

In Indiana on Friday, three men died from a 500-foot plunge down an air shaft being built at a coal mine: Christopher Todd Richardson, 38, of Cedar Bluff, Virginia Daniel McFadden, 66, of Greybull, Wyoming Jarred A. Ashmore, 23, of Henderson, Kentucky The Associated Press reports:

Ellen Smith, Managing Editor of Mine Safety and Health News reported at 5:30 pm (EST, 8/12) on the status of the operation to rescue the six trapped miners at the Crandall Canyon mine in Emery County, Utah.  She wrote that MSHA Assistant Secretary Richard Sticker, said they are dealing with “the most difficult ground conditions — ever” and…

by Ken Ward, Jr.  (This item first appeared on Nieman Watchdog; posted with permission) Often after accidents like the one at Crandall Canyon, Utah, mine operators claim their mines had relatively few violations. Even if that’s true—and often it isn’t—‘relatively few’ just isn’t good enough in a risky venture like coal mining.  As  I write…