Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

October 4, 2013

W.Va. board rejects proximity detector regulation


Associated Press

FLATWOODS — Over the objections of the United Mine Workers and a coal miner’s widow, West Virginia’s mine-safety board has rejected a regulation that could help prevent crushing injuries and deaths underground.

The Charleston Gazette says the West Virginia Coal Association is fighting the regulation, while union safety advocates and victims’ families push for it.

Industry says the rule needs further study and discussion.

The rule would have required coal companies to put proximity detection systems on equipment to stop machines when a worker gets too close.

The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration has been pushing two similar rules.

Caitlin O’Dell’s husband, Andrew, was crushed last December at an Alpha Natural Resources mine.

She told the Board of Coal Mine Health and Safety it will have blood on its hands.