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President Donald Trump’s mining regulators are reconsidering rules meant to protect underground miners from breathing coal and rock dust – the cause of black lung – and diesel exhaust, which can cause cancer. An advocate for coal miners said Friday that this sends a “very bad signal.”
A federal appeals court rejected a bid Thursday by former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship to remain free while the court considers an appeal of his conviction related to the deadliest U.S. mine explosion in four decades.
The death of a 36-year-old miner at the Sunshine Mine in June was caused by the management’s failure to establish safe work practices, a federal accident investigation concluded. Nick Rounds was killed when he and another miner were working on shaft repairs at the underground silver mine near Kellogg. Rounds had attached his fall-protection harness to the wall of the mine shaft, according to a Mine Safety and Health Administration report released Thursday. Rounds was on a platform on top of a hoist when an operator gave the OK to lift the hoist to the surface. But Rounds had not disconnected from the shaft wall and was pulled off the platform and crushed between the hoist and the shaft wall.
The death of a 36-year-old miner at the Sunshine Mine in June was caused by the management’s failure to establish safe work procedures, a federal accident investigation concluded.
Nick Rounds followed his dad into Idaho’s silver mines, proud of the work and good wages that came with being a miner. “I know that my brother didn’t want to do anything else, and I don’t think that Nick did, either,” said his uncle, Dave Rounds.
Federal officials plan to double the number of employees at Spokane’s mine research laboratory, adding more than 40 positions and creating a new Western district office for worker-safety programs. The new jobs will come in two phases. This year 15 jobs will be added to the office and lab at 315 E. Montgomery Ave. The lab will be renamed the Spokane Mining Research Division.
Four Lucky Friday miners who were trapped in a 2011 rock burst, and who accuse Hecla Mining Co.’s managers in a recent lawsuit of lying to them about dangerous conditions, are still working at the mine. “They’re career miners, so they really don’t have a lot of options,” said their attorney, Eric Rossman.
A miner who was killed during a cave-in at the Lucky Friday Mine was not in his assigned work area when the accident occurred, and that action contributed to his death, according to the mine’s owner. In court documents filed this week, Hecla Mining Co. said Larry “Pete” Marek’s death was partly a result of his own “negligent and careless misconduct.”
Four miners who were trapped and injured two years ago during a rock burst at the Lucky Friday Mine are suing Hecla Mining Co., alleging that mine managers knowingly sent them into unsafe working conditions. On Dec. 14, 2011, Ronnel E. Barrett, Gregg Hammerberg, Eric J. Tester and Matthew Williams were part of a team of seven miners sent to repair damage from an earlier rock burst when another occurred, according to the lawsuit. The sudden, violent failure of a supporting rock pillar trapped them 5,900 feet below the surface.
Four miners who were trapped and injured two years ago during a rock burst at the Lucky Friday Mine are suing Hecla Mining Co., alleging that mine mangers knowingly sent them to work in unsafe conditions.
The family of a miner killed in a tunnel collapse two years ago has sued Hecla Mining Co. Larry “Pete” Marek, 53, was crushed to death in a cave-in more than a mile deep inside the Lucky Friday Mine on April 15, 2011. It took rescue workers nine days to dig out his body in the silver mine near Mullan, Idaho.
Federal mine safety officials will not impose tighter enforcement on the Lucky Friday Mine in Shoshone County after Hecla Mining Co. demonstrated it has made safety improvements there. The Mine Safety and Health Administration warned Hecla last November that the company might be issued a notice of a “potential pattern of violations of mandatory health or safety standards.” The agency said the company would be subject to enhanced enforcement unless it reduced the rate of “significant and substantial” violations at the Lucky Friday in Mullan, Idaho.
When it resumes operations early next year, the Lucky Friday Mine in Shoshone County will be under tighter health and safety controls imposed by the federal government. The Mine Safety and Health Administration on Wednesday said it has warned Hecla Mining Co. that the mine near Mullan, Idaho, will be subject to enhanced enforcement because it has demonstrated a “potential pattern of violations of mandatory health or safety standards.”
Federal investigators are blaming the November death of a worker in the Lucky Friday Mine on company management. “The accident occurred due to management’s failure to provide the miners with the proper personal protective equipment,” investigators with the Mine Safety and Health Administration concluded in their report.
WALLACE – The closed Lucky Friday Mine will begin rehiring workers in July and should return to a full workforce by the end of the year, said Phil Baker, Hecla Mining Co.’s chief executive officer. More than 110 of the Lucky Friday’s 250 workers lost their jobs when federal inspectors closed the mine’s main shaft in January following a series of accidents at the underground silver mine.
After a violent rock burst at the Lucky Friday Mine on Nov. 16, federal inspectors ordered mine managers to conduct twice-daily monitoring to check if stress was building up in the rocks. The rock burst had registered as a 2.8-magnitude quake on seismographs. No one was in the mine when it occurred, but residents as far away as Wallace reported feeling the earth rumble.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — In light of a report on a deadly coal mine blast, some Democratic members of West Virginia’s congressional delegation say it’s time for Congress to stop delaying action on federal legislation that could help keep the nation’s coal miners safe.
Repairing and upgrading the Lucky Friday Mine’s main shaft will cost about $30 million, Hecla Mining Co. said Tuesday. Company officials expect to start repairs within a few weeks, which will include removing cement deposits from the shaft’s walls, repairing steel in the shaft, installing a new power cable and other work. The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration closed the shaft in early January, citing safety concerns about the buildup of loose material on the shaft’s walls.
Repairing and upgrading the Lucky Friday Mine’s main shaft will cost about $30 million, Hecla Mining Co. said today. Company officials said they expect to start repairs within a few weeks, which will include removing cement deposits from the shaft’s walls, repairing steel in the shaft, installing a new power cable and other work.
WALLACE – Idaho Gov. Butch Otter will ask federal regulators to hold a public meeting in the Silver Valley to explain their decision to shut down the Lucky Friday Mine’s shaft for safety reasons. “When I get home, that letter will be on its way to Washington, D.C.,” the governor told a standing-room-only crowd Monday during a town hall meeting in Wallace.