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Proximity detectors absent in most W.Va. mines

November 20, 2013
Associated Press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A survey of West Virginia mines shows 4 percent of underground equipment have detectors that automatically shuts down mobile machinery when people get too close.

The Charleston Gazette ( ) says the state Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training conducted the survey in August of 1,800 continuous mining machines, shuttle cars, roof bolters, scoops and other mobile equipment.

It found that 74 pieces of the equipment had proximity detection systems that can prevent miners from being crushed or pinned.

State mine safety director Eugene White says he expects the number to increase as mine operators anticipate a federal rule requiring such proximity devices to be implemented.

The survey also says blind-spot cameras have been installed on 86 pieces of underground equipment.


Information from: The Charleston Gazette,



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