Vote to pass a bill that increases the number and scope of safety regulations for mining operations.
Requires coal mines to use an electronic tracking system that will show the locations of people underground (Sec. 4).
Requires miners to wear coal dust monitors and prohibits miners from being forced to work in air where the coal dust concentration exceeds 1.00 milligrams per cubic meter of air averaged over ten hours (Sec. 7).
Provides that the Secretary of Labor may fine mine operators $50,000 to $250,000 for a pattern of safety violations in addition to any other authorized penalties (Sec. 5).
States that the Mine Safety and Health Administration will have a full-time employee that will serve as liaison to families of miners trapped, injured, or killed in a mining accident (Sec. 6).
Creates a Miner Ombudsman office to receive reports of safety concerns and review the responses of the Secretary of Labor for such reports (Sec. 5).
Requires an independent investigation whenever a mining accident is responsible for multiple serious injuries, deaths, or entrapments (Sec. 6).
Bans "belt air" ventilation systems (Sec. 4).
Adds regulations to pillar extraction plans, otherwise known as "retreat mining," including requiring mine operators to submit these plans to a designated representative of the miners for comment and then submitting the plans and comments to the Secretary of Labor (Sec. 4).
Permits the Secretary of Labor to shut down mines that do not pay fines or are in a pattern of violating safety regulations (Sec. 5).
Allows the Secretary of Labor to establish a program to test miners for substance abuse and provide rehabilitation (Sec. 8).
Increases regulation of seals used to protect miners from gases and explosions (Sec. 4).
Requires conveyor belts to conform to the most recent recommendations of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to minimize smoke and flammability (Sec. 4).
States that if the Mine Safety and Health Administration is involved in a rescue operation, the mine operator must follow the administration's requests (Sec. 6).