Union, Feds at Odds on Countering Surge in Coal Mine Deaths
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Deaths in U.S. coal mines this year have surged ahead of last year's, and federal safety officials say workers who are new to a mine have been especially vulnerable to fatal accidents.
But the coal miner's union says the federal agency in charge of mine safety isn't taking the right approach to fixing the problem.
Ten coal miners have died on the job so far this year, compared to a record low of eight last year.
The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration has launched a summer initiative to send officials to the mines to observe and train those new to a mine on safer working habits.
But the miner's union, the United Mine Workers of America, says that effort falls short. The union says federal inspectors making such visits cannot punish the mine if they see safety violations.