Governor Tomblin Provides Update on Call for Mine Safety Stand-Down

Press Release

By:  Earl Tomblin
Date: March 1, 2013
Location: Charleston, WV

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today provided an update regarding Executive Order 1-13 which mandated a statewide mine safety stand-down.

"I appreciate our coal companies and their employees reinforcing their commitment to safety during the mine safety stand-down," Gov. Tomblin said. "I'm also grateful for the men and women of the Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training. They've worked hard and participated in safety discussions with operators and miners throughout our state, in an effort to improve mine safety."

More than 90 percent of the state's underground and surface mines, as well as preparation plants, have been visited by Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training personnel--including its director, administrators and inspectors. The safety review of approximately 500 operations throughout the state is expected to be completed early next week.

Eugene White, Director of the Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training said, "I thank everyone involved for their complete cooperation during the mine safety stand-down. Coal companies and coal miners must put safety first, and I think this effort helped remind them of that."

The decision to call for a mine safety stand-down was made in response to the sixth fatal mining accident in West Virginia since last November. In accordance with the executive order issued February 20, 2013, Gov. Tomblin asked all mining companies and their employees to stand-down for at least a one hour to thoroughly review their safety procedures. In addition, the Director of the Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training and his authorized representatives are in the process of deploying to all coal mining operations in the state to advise and assist operators in conducting additional safety reviews aimed at preventing future injuries and accidents.