Sunday, January 14, 2007

2 More Miners Killed As Mine Safety Worsens In The Bush Years

With the Bush Administration loading up the board that regulates mine safety in the U.S. with coal and mining industry executives, the safety of mining in the U.S. continues to worsen. Today, two more miners were killed in a West Virginia accident. During the Clinton years, mining grew more safe with stronger safety rules, but last year after the more lax safety standards of the Bush Adminstration years, American mining deaths hit a 10 year high of 47. Many countries such as Canada mandate more safety equipment or stronger safety standards than the U.S. Still mining in the U.S. rates as safer than China, the world leader in mining accidents due to lax safety standards.

Last year's tragic Sago mine disaster might have been worsened when s federal bankruptcy jude threw out the labor union, and without this union acting as a body to handle complaints, roof falls and other incidents only seemed to increase until the tragedy. Canada by comparison has safe rooms and more communications equipment mandated by their safety standards.

With a philosophy of profits over people in nearly all areas of the Bush Administration, the tragic increase in mining accidents is only the natural result of probusiness policies that give safety a backseat, hoping to "cut business regulations". However, the human and financial costs to business in the long run of this sort of policy are indeed very costly. With the potential of huge lawsuits or other costs, there really is no cost benefit to such policies that seek to cut back on worker safety.


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