The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Editorials

February 26, 2013

Compare notes

As the mine industry in West Virginia works to complete a governor-ordered work standdown to review safety protocols, we are learning that an investigation into the death of a miner last year in Boone County is being reopened by the state Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training.

The reason — a federal investigation into the fatal accident by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) yielded different results.

At the center of the issue is that the federal investigation issued in December 2012 says a mine foreman was holding a ladder when 57-year-old Clyde Dolin of Danville fell and died. The original state probe, released in August 2012, made no mention of the foreman holding the ladder.

“We knew he (the foreman) was around the area, but the information our investigation team collected did not indicate he held the ladder. He might have walked by,” state mine safety director Eugene White said.

“We would have addressed that issue if we were aware of it. When MSHA issued this (report), that was the first time we became aware of this.”

While the MSHA report was made public some four months after the state’s, why is it that agencies like this, designed to protect our coal miners, can’t get together and share information?

We understand the need for some independence and that’s healthy. But wouldn’t it be more productive, and ultimately in the best interest of safety, for them to get together and compare notes and information before reports and findings are issued?

Sometimes it seems like there is an attitude of one-upmanship taking place and that doesn’t really help state and/or federal officials to achieve the ultimate goal of doing everything they can to promote and enforce mine safety.

The scrutiny of how all government agencies deal with the mining industry has certainly been turned up since the Upper Big Branch disaster nearly three years ago. However, it seems to us that the spirit of cooperation isn’t everything it could be just yet.

For the sake and the safety of our miners it needs to be.

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • The play’s the thing

    TWV twins reveal local riches that can’t be found anywhere else

    July 27, 2014

  • Primary care

    DHHR program weans folks away from the ER

    July 24, 2014

  • Rain? What Rain?

    Community still enjoys auto fair despite uncooperative weather

    July 23, 2014

  • Do tell

    It’s hard to keep a secret in today’s here-a-camera, there-a-camera, everywhere-a-camera world. Whatever one does that is embarrassing is immediately posted on YouTube, Facebook or other social media of choice.

    July 22, 2014

  • Juvenile justice

    West Virginia nearly doubled the rate it sent youths to juvenile facilities from 1997 to 2011, in contrast to declining rates of youthful incarceration elsewhere in the United States.

    July 20, 2014

  • Thumbs — Saturday, July 19, 2014

    July 19, 2014

  • Do something

     Johnstown police have charged three men in the brutal murder early Sunday of a city academy student.

    July 18, 2014

  • Showcase

    For White Sulphur Springs, there’s hardly enough time to catch a breath.

    July 17, 2014

  • Bon appetit

    Agriculture and farm products can help diversify state economy

    July 16, 2014

  • Generous

    Outsiders can say what they will about West Virginians — but they can’t say we’re stingy.
    Time after time after time, we band together to help our neighbors out of a jam, aid someone down on their luck or otherwise in a bad way.

    July 15, 2014