Sago, Darby, and Crandall Canyon are all recent mine disasters. Some say these could have been prevented.
It's those deadly events that often lead to better safety laws in the mines.
Officials at Teco Coal Company say they've successfully implemented new safety measures following stricter MSHA regulations.
WYMT's Marie Luby takes us 1,400 ft underground in Perry County.
Jesse Joseph says coal miners share a bond that's not of this earth.
“When you hear of a coal miner that's fallen, no matter Utah, Pennsylvania, Russia, China, wherever it's at, you know what those guys are going through,” Joseph said.
Joseph says TECO workers avoid a tragedy here by keeping track of miners before an accident happens.
“Our dispatcher marks them by location, name, where they're at,” Joseph said
Miners use a new phone system to call dispatch.
In heavy smoke the life lines tell miners if they're going in the right direction. If I'm walking along and my hand runs into the wide end of this cone, I know I need to turn around to get out.
Miners previously had only a one hour supply of oxygen. Now, about 800 air packs are at different stations throughout the mine. All are within a 30-minute walk from any point underground.
“I think after the Sago disaster a lot more emphasis and awareness was put on the details,” Joseph said.
Joseph says it's the details, that save lives.
Teco officials are also working on five safe haven rooms with enough food, water, and air to sustain up to 26 people for four days.
Officials say those should be complete within the next two months.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.