MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - A new report says federal mine safety officials are often too slow to respond to complaints of hazardous conditions.
A report by the Labor Department's Office of Inspector General says it took two or more days to respond to 14 percent of the 410 complaints between January First and March 30th.
The 77-page report says the Mine Safety and Health Administration delays may have subjected miners to prolonged hazardous conditions. The report says 60 percent of the complaints were handled the same day, while 27 percent were addressed the next day. But ten percent of all complaints were delayed because the call came on a Friday, weekend or holiday.
The Sago Mine disaster occurred Jan. 2, a Monday that was a state and federal New Year's holiday for many workers. At a public hearing in May, Sago employees complained of difficulties reaching the right people.
(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)