September 8, 2023 - The WV Board of Coal Mine Health and Safety has approved two administrative rules for final promulgation relating to “State Mine Rescue Teams” and the “Supervision of Apprentice Miners”. Both sets of rules are scheduled to be filed in the state Register Monday, September 11 and become effective on October 11, 2023.
The revised rule under Title 36, Series 44, Governing State Mine Rescue Teams, Related Activities and Compensation clarifies the type of rescue and recovery work that qualifies for compensation above and beyond the salary of state mine inspectors and safety instructors who serve on state mine rescue teams.
The second rule, under Title 36, Series 59 relating to the Supervision of Apprentice Miners, increases the number of apprentices from one to two that can be supervised by a certified miner with two years’ mining experience.
The Board also proposed a rule change to allow miners to be able to join a mine rescue team following their fiftieth birthday, provided they are physically able to perform mine rescue duties. State requirements currently prohibit miners from “becoming” a mine rescue team member past their fiftieth birthday. This proposed rule will be released for a 30-day public comment next week.
The Board is also scheduled to approve the new "Outby Mine Examiner Certification" when it convenes in October.
According to the current proposal, a miner must possess a miner’s certification, have 2 years of mining experience, and successfully complete an examination to qualify for an Outby Mine Examiner Certification.
The new certification would be applicable and limited to examinations of outby areas i.e., belt entries and belt conveyors, returns, travel ways and air courses.
The current proposal would also allow belt examiners to upgrade or transition to an “Outby Mine Examiner” with 4 hours of additional training and the successful completion of the certification exam.
Lastly, the Board has proposed the attached list of mine safety technologies that would qualify for a tax credit under the Mine Safety Technology Tax Credit Program. The Board is obligated to recommend a list of mine safety technologies to the director of OMHST who is required to publish the list annually. Please take a look at the attached list and let me know if any other technology or safety device not required by state or federal should be added. Also feel free to comment on the mine safety regulatory actions referenced herein.