"How long do you have to get hit in the head before you start asking who's hitting you in the head?"

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Sago Mine victims remembered

“‘We cannot know the purpose of this tragedy,’ said Gov. Joe Manchin, ‘but I pledge to you we will determine the cause.’"

Hey, Joe, here’s a hint:

“The number of infractions issued to the Sago Mine last year was ‘higher than would be normally issued to a mine that size,’ said Ray McKinney, administrator for the coal division of the MSHA. Since 2000, the incidence of injuries at Sago was also higher than average — more than twice the national rate, MSHA data show.

"Nine times in the past year, the mine was cited for failing to properly enact a 'mine ventilation plan,' according to MSHA records. The regulatory agency considered three of those violations ‘significant and substantial.’ Proper ventilation is one of the key safety measures to prevent fires and explosions…

"Seven times last year, MSHA cited the mine for failing to properly conduct a ‘pre-shift examination,’ the safety inspection mandated before each shift of workers is allowed to enter the mine. Monitoring methane gas is required during such an examination.”



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