1/7/2014 8:18 AM
by Rebecca Turco
CHARLESTON - Mining regulators for the mountain state are calling for more reforms to protect coal miners' health and safety.
A report from the Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training proposes tougher state standards to prevent explosions, as well as revised inspection and enforcement measures. To prevent common crushing and pinning accidents, the report proposes requiring proximity-detection systems.
The office released the report ahead of the 2014 legislative session that begins Wednesday.
The report also calls for the Legislature and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin to provide more money for coal mine regulation and safety training, saying pay increases are needed to maintain a quality inspection staff.
Preliminary federal data released Monday shows West Virginia had the most coal mining deaths in 2012, when six workers were killed.