Category archives for Mining
Three years ago today, 29 miners died at the Upper Big Branch coal mine.
Greg Byers, 43, worked underground at Arch Coal/ICG’s Pocahontas Coal Mine in Beckley, WV. He suffered a serious injury in July 2012 that led to his death. An investigation report explains how common sense–not rocket science–could have prevented his work-related death.
HuffPo’s Dave Jamieson writes this week about a Kentucky worker who raised concerns about safety problems at Armstrong Coal, was fired for doing so and complained about it to the Labor Department, and is now being sued by his former employer for making his claim.
The Labor Department’s MSHA issued a new regulation this week targeting employers that have an egregious pattern of violating mine safety and health standards.
With five days left in calendar year 2012, the Obama Administration released its current regulatory plan and agenda, including new rules addressing health and safety hazards in workplaces. Neither OSHA nor MSHA have a good track record predicting when such rules will actually be completed.
After four days, one worker remains unaccounted for after being caught in the collapse of an embankment at a WV coal slurry impoundment. The 788 acre pond of coal waste and chemical-laced water is owned by CONSOL Energy, and is just one of hundreds like it located in U.S. coal mining States.
Seven new worker safety regulations–both proposed and final rules—are stuck in the Obama White House. One proposed rule has been “under review” for 645 days.
Now that the Presidential election is over, it’s time for the Labor Department to kick into high gear expand workers’ rights and ensuring workers’ lives and health are protected. Here’s my wish list of tasks for the Labor Department to accomplish in the next 6 months:
In our new report “The Year in U.S. Occupational Health & Safety,” we devote one section to key activities by the Obama Administration and the U.S. Congress.
The newly unveiled granite memorial in Whitesville, WV is a visible reminder of the 29 miners who were killed in the Upper Big Branch mine, but the truest measure of our recognition of their sacrifice is what we do in their memory to protect the living.