Screenings find 1,500 coal miners using drugs

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - More than 1,500 coal miners have tested
positive for drug use since Kentucky began screenings six years
ago, creating additional risks in an already dangerous industry.

That information from the Office of Mine Safety and Licensing
convinced the House Natural Resources and Environment Committee to approve legislation Thursday to eliminate loopholes in current law that could allow miners who abuse drugs to return to work in Kentucky.

The legislation would revoke the mine certifications for three
years for first offenders, five years for second offenders and for
life for third offenders.

Current law allows miners to be retested after 10 days. Those
who test negative can then return to work.
The legislation is House Bill 385.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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