Tag archives for mining
Three years ago today, 29 miners died at the Upper Big Branch coal mine.
The White House’s two-year delay of OSHA’s proposed silica rule attracted media attention; West Virginia’s Governor orders mines to undertake a “safety stand-down” after a series of mineworker deaths; and a warming climate will necessitate stricter limits on outdoor work.
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.
The Bangladesh factory where 112 workers died in a fire last month had not gotten its fire department certification renewed; two West Virginia miners at separate mines were killed on the same day; and the Whistleblower Protection Act will extend whistleblower protections to many federal employees.
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.