West Virginia authorities have adopted new laws in order to protect the safety of those who work in the many mines throughout the state. This new rule pertains to how equipment is moved within underground mines and is hoped will prevent future coal mine accidents. Many of the risks faced by miners are actually related to how heavy equipment and machinery is used.
With the passing of the new law, there are now more regulations regarding who is permitted to move heavy mine equipment. Some of the heavy machinery used in the mining industry includes crusher feeders, self-propelled drills and continuous miners. The use and movement of track-mounted equipment is not affected by this new law.
According to the law, equipment use will now be more closely monitored by supervisors, and regular inspections will be done. Fire protection and tools must be provided every time one of the aforementioned pieces of equipment is moved. The goal is to further modernize the mining industry in West Virginia and protect the safety and health of all of those employed in underground mines.
Miners have the right to a safe work environment as well as the right to proper training and safety equipment. With the enforcement of this new law, employers will be required to work diligently to prevent coal mine accidents related to equipment, many of which are preventable with caution and training. It should be noted that those who are injured while working in any of the state’s mines may have valid grounds for a civil claim against any liable parties.
Source: statejournal.com, “WV coal mine safety board adopts new underground mining equipment”, Sarah Tincher, June 1, 2015