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West Virginia mines receive life-saving devices

Mining is an important industry for both Cabell County and the rest of the country. However, it's a dangerous job that results in both injuries and fatalities. So it is good news when technology is approved that will make those who work underground to bring the coal to the surface a bit safer.

The West Virginia Board of Coal Mine Health and Safety approved new rules that will require proximity devices to be installed on all mobile underground mining equipment. It is believed that the devices will decrease the number of workplace injuries caused by miners being struck by moving equipment.

The proximity devices are designed to sound an alarm when a miner is within five feet of moving equipment, and shut down the machinery completely if a miner is within three feet of the machine. The rule requires the devices be installed on all new equipment within six months, and installed on all current equipment within 36 months. The board's decision was unanimous.

According to the editor of MineSafety and Health News, four miners were killed in accidents last year that might have been prevented by the proximity devices, including one miner from the Mountain State. In 2012, four West Virginia miners were killed. West Virginia is the first state to put such regulations in place.

Although mining is a dangerous profession, there are things that can be done to make it safer. However, even with added safety features, workers can still be injured. Anyone who is hurt while doing their jobs has a right to seek compensation for their injuries. A legal professional experienced in helping workers seek financial relief can help workers determine their rights and help them through the process if they choose to pursue compensation.

Source: MetroNews, "West Virginia makes life-saving mine safety change" Hoppy Kercheval, Jan. 21, 2014

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