10/7/2013 10:56 PM
by Courtney Rosemond
CHARLESTON - A death in the mines and the government shutdown has federal regulators urging US coal companies to refocus on health and safety regulations after three fatalities in three days.
West Virginia, a miner was struck in the head with a piece of equipment and became the state's sixth fatality this year. One miner died in Illinois and another in Wyoming. It's the first time since 2002 the industry has had three deaths in three days, and Mine Safety and Health Administration director Joe Main calls it an extremely troubling pattern.
Fewer than half of MSHA's employees are on the job, and inspections are largely focused on mines with a documented history of problems.