Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Sago Mine in West Virginia Non-Union
(CNN) -- Federal reports show the number of safety violations at the Sago Mine rose rapidly over the past two years, and in 2005 inspectors called 96 of them "serious and substantial."
WJACTV--The Sago Mine in West Virginia was sited for 46 alleged violations by federal inspectors during the holidays. Among those were violations for safeguarding against roof falls and the mine's plan to control methane. According to federal officials, the safety problems at the mine escalated over the past few years.
GOI: Back to CNN:
Add reports of 11 roof collapses in the past six months, and a former top federal official for mine safety says any mine operator should see a red flag.
"That's a signal to you that says, 'You better do something at this workplace, before something bad happens,' " Davitt McAteer said
Davitt McAteer says it is too early to know who, if anyone, should bear responsibility in this accident. But he has a word of caution about the booming coal trade in general, and any company that might seek too much gold too fast from the black rock.
"We've seen historically, the mine companies that operate on the margins and try to push all the costs down and the (profit) margins up in the short run tend to have tremendous safety problems."
GOI: And this is why deregulation is bad. Deregulation often creates work environments that are dangerous or otherwise unacceptable as there is not much independent, federal over-sight.
The United Mine Workers of America said the Sago miners were not union members.
GOI: And this accident shows why unions are so important to worker safety and productivity.
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