Today at 1 p.m. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will sign an executive order for a mine safety stand down, requiring coal companies to stop production for an hour to have safety talks with workers.
The announcement comes after several state mining deaths in the last few weeks.
The Daily Mail has set up a live stream so you can watch the governor’s press conference live. I’ll also be live-blogging the proceedings below.
That concludes the press conference.
Hamilton: “This administration, this office of the miner’s health safety training, has been excellent in communicating with the industry.”
Chris Hamilton of WV Coal Association at the podium now. Said the association has pledged its full support and resources to work with governor and Legislature “seeking to be part of the solution here.”
White: About 260 mines, 200 active working mines in state. 500 counting surface.
Caputo: One hour is to remind people of safety measures. White’s proposed inspections will take much longer.
Del. Mike Caputo: Commends the governor for action. “We’ve lost too many miners in this state.” “The one hour is a good start.” “These accidents can stop. Coal companies have to take time at every shift…to make these men and women aware of what’s going on.”
Tomblin: “We’ve done everything we possibly can to make sure our mines are as safe as possible.”
Tomblin: Inspections will begin this afternoon, probably at shift change around 3 or 4 p.m.
Tomblin: Will wait to look at mine safety legislation, until inspections in deaths are completed. “At this time, I do not have any times to introduce legislation. But if its recommended once the investigations are complete, I’d be happy to do that.”
White: Goal is for inspectors to visit every mine — surface and underground — in the state over the next few days.
White: “They’re talking about best practices, communication.” Also stress to workers there is an anonymous tip line. “We’ll stress to the miners what their rights are, what they can do if they have any issues or any problems.”
White believes this mine went back into operation Saturday after original fatality, “But don’t quote me on that.” The most recent fatality occured last night.
White says he’s not aware if the scoop was equipped with a proximity detection device. This is the same mine where a fatality occured several days before.
White: fatality still under investigation. Man killed by a hit from a scoop.
Tomblin: last night’s fatality was second in Raleigh County in the last nine days, the fourth in the state over the last two weeks
White: Inspectors are on site at Raleigh mine where fatality occurred last night.
Eugene White says beginning this evening, all inspection staff, safety instructors, inspectors and supervisors visit all mines in the state this evening to assist in the stand downs
Stand down will last one hour.
Tomblin says the stand down will start immediately. “This is not a shut down of mining operations.”
There’s been a flurry of activity. We’re ready to begin.
The governor’s conference room if full with media. Every television/radio.print outlet in the city is here.
Greetings! The governor is running just a tad late. You’ll notice the sound is off on the live-stream. I’ll activate it once the press conference begins.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 12:52 pm and is filed under The Governor's Office. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.