Feds seek to warn coal miners of nearby machinery - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Feds seek to warn coal miners of nearby machinery

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CHARLESTON, WV (AP) -- Coal industry stakeholders have differing views of a federal proposal that targets a fatal hazard in underground mines.

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration wants to require systems that alert miners when they get too close to continuous mining machines. Officials say run-ins with these huge machines have killed 33 miners since 1984.

Regulators fielded comments about this proposed rule Thursday at a Charleston public hearing.

West Virginia's Coal Association advocated the continued study and eventual use of these proximity warning systems. But it also recommended alternatives until the technology improves.

A manufacturer of these systems advised increasing the proposed time for installation and training.

The United Mine Workers union considers the proposed requirement long overdue. It wants the requirement expanded to other underground machines and to surface mining.

(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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