As reported on wvpubcast.org, the US Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has developed an online training tool for miners, especially miners’ representatives, to learn about their rights, their role, and their responsibilities. Many miners don’t know that they have the right to elect a miners’ representative.
A mine safety law that’s been on the books since 1977 was intended to give miners the ability to report problems without retribution. This is a law that’s rarely been used and often when it has managers and not working miners serve as the representatives.
A number of issues were uncovered during congressional hearings after the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster that killed 29 men. Statements from miners and family members of the miners who died indicated that mine employees had been reluctant to speak out about safety conditions in existence prior to the April 2010 explosion, fearing retaliation by management.