Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Mumper trying to erode Ohio's mine safety

The latest news is grim about the Sago mine disaster. Unfortunately, not enough stories are reporting on the firm's history of safety and health violations.

But before Ohioan's start think mining accidents are something that happens elsewhere, we have been tipped off that within days conservative State Senator Larry Mumper will be trying to nearly eliminate Ohio's safety oversight for the state's mineral mines.

Just for clarification sake, it is important to note that mineral mines - as we understand it - are often quite different from coal mines, especially deep-shaft coal mines. Mineral mines are almost always open pit mines. Think enormous gravel pits and aggragate mining operations.

We'll have more to say about Mumper's SB 191, but in brief it exempts these mines from state's mine safety laws and replaces a random inspection program with a voluntary safety-training program. And, in true fox-guarding-the-chicken-house fashion, would have mineral mine companies employ their own safety expert.

Think it can't happen? Guess again. We understand hearings may start in a week or two.


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