MSHA and Coal Watchdog's New Blog Hailed

Ken Ward Jr., a Charleston Gazette staffer who has been hailed for the quality of his coverage of the coal industry, mine workers, and state and federal mining regulatory agencies, including the Mine Safety and Health Administration, is now writing a blog that earned praise Friday from the excellent safety blog The Pump Handle.

Ward's Coal Tattoo offered an analysis on Friday of recent MSHA reports on two coal mining deaths. One was the June 5, 2008, death of Gary A. Hoffman, 55, who died when he fell, jumped, or was knocked from the cab of a locomotive he was operating inside CONSOL Energy's Robinson Run Mine near Fairmont, W.Va. Ward explains why rails get slick in underground coal mines and what MSHA's "safeguard order" required CONSOL to do: Ensure sand is applied to the rails from inby sanding devices on the locomotives so they won't go out of control.

This post by Ward links to his "Beyond Sago: Coal Mine Safety in America" project and his continuing coverage of coal mine safety published by the Gazette.

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