Lawmaker Calls For More Mine Inspections

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Inspectors would double the number of
visits they make to underground coal mines under legislation
introduced today by a coalfield lawmaker.
The initiative follows one of the deadliest years in recent
history for coal miners in Kentucky. In all, 16 miners were killed
on the job last year.
House Democrat Brent Yonts of Greenville said the current law is
insufficient. It requires inspectors from the Kentucky Office of
Mine Safety and Licensing to perform three inspections a year at
each underground mine. His legislation calls for at least six
visits per year.
Yonts says the more visits state regulators make to coal mines,
the greater the chance they'll find hazards that could endanger
The General Assembly passed a tougher safety law last year, but
Yonts said he believes the law need to be modified in the wake the
spike in workplace fatalities.
The 2006 death toll in Kentucky coal mines was the worst since
1993, when 18 miners died. Five miners in Harlan County died from
the same explosion and fire in an underground mine in May.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)