Associated Press Published

MSHA Says 100 Things Have Changed Since Upper Big Branch

U.S. Department of Labor Mine Safety and Health Administration

The federal mine safety agency says it has finished implementing the 100 regulatory and administrative changes it recommended after West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch mine disaster.

The changes stem from a March 2012 internal report examining the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration’s actions leading up to April 2010 explosion that killed 29 miners. The agency says all recommendations in the report were implemented by Dec. 31.

Among the reforms are revision of mine inspection procedure handbooks and development of a new coal roof control handbook, training sessions for agency personnel on issues raised by the review, and improved tracking of inspector retraining.

Joseph A. Main is assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. He calls the changes the most extensive improvements at MSHA in decades.