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Introduced Version House Bill 4076 History

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Key: Green = existing Code. Red = new code to be enacted
hb4076 intr
H. B. 4076

(By Mr. Speaker, Mr. Kiss, and Delegate Trump)

[By Request of the Executive]

(Introduced January 23, 2006; referred to

the Committee on the Judiciary.)





A BILL to repeal §22A-2-69 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; to amend said code by adding thereto a new article, designated §15-5B-1, §15-5B-2, §15-5B-3, §15-5B-4 and §15-5B- 5 ; and to amend and reenact §22A-2-55 and §22A-2-66 of said code, all relating to mine and industrial emergencies; creating the Mine and Industrial Accident Rapid Response System; providing requirements for protective equipment in underground mines; providing for criminal penalties for the unauthorized removal of or tampering with certain protective equipment; providing for notification requirements in the event of an accident in or about any mine and imposing a civil administrative penalty for the failure to comply with such notification requirements.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That §22A-2-69
of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be repealed; that said code be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §15-5B-1, §15-5B-2, §15-5B-3, §15-5B-4 and §15- 5B-5 ; and that §22A-2-55 and §22A-2-66 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
CHAPTER 15. PUBLIC SAFETY.

ARTICLE 5B. MINE AND INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT RAPID RESPONSE SYSTEM.
§15-5B-1. Legislative Purpose; Mine and Industrial Accident Rapid Response System created.
(a) The Legislature finds that the health and safety of our fellow citizens working in and around the mining industry and other industries is of paramount concern to the people of West Virginia and that deaths and serious injuries resulting from dangerous working conditions cause grief and suffering to workers and their families. The Legislature further finds that there is an urgent need to provide more effective means and measures for improving emergency response and communications for dealing with mine and industrial accidents. The Legislature declares that it is in the best interest of the citizens of West Virginia to designate an emergency telephone number for mining or industrial personnel to initiate a rapid emergency response to any mine or industrial accident. Provision of a single, primary emergency number through which emergency services can be quickly and efficiently obtained and through which the response of various state agencies charged by law with responding to mine and industrial emergencies can be coordinated, will significantly contribute to the public good. The Mine and Industrial Accident Rapid Response System will provide a vital resource to the citizens of West Virginia by providing a critical connection between the Director of the Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training, the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, local and regional emergency services organizations, and other responsible agencies.
(b) The Mine and Industrial Accident Rapid Response System is hereby created and shall consist of:
(1) The mine and industrial accident emergency operations center established in section two of this article; and
(2) The twenty-four hour a day statewide telephone number established by the Director of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

§15-5B-2. Mine and industrial accident emergency response center.
(
a) The Director of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, working in conjunction with the Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training, shall maintain the mine and industrial accident emergency operations center, which shall be the official and primary state government twenty-four hour a day communications center for dealing with mine and industrial accidents.
(b) The emergency operations center shall be operated constantly by emergency service personnel employed by the director to provide emergency assistance and coordination to mine and industrial accidents or emergencies.

(c) The emergency operations center shall be readily accessible twenty-four hours a day at a statewide telephone number established and designated by the director.
§15-5B-3. Emergency mine response.

(a) To assist the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management in implementing and operating the Mine and Industrial Accident Rapid Response System, the Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training shall on a quarterly basis provide the emergency operations center with a mine emergency contact list: Provided, That in the event of any change in the information contained in the mine emergency contact list, such changes shall be provided immediately to the emergency operations center. The mine emergency contact list shall include the following information:
(1) The name and telephone numbers of the Director of the Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training, including at least one telephone number that may be called twenty-four hours a day;
(2) The name and telephone numbers of all district mine inspectors, including at least one telephone number for each inspector that may be called twenty-four hours a day;
(3) A current listing of all regional offices or districts of the Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training, including a detailed description of the geographical areas served by each such regional office or district; and
(4) The names, locations and telephone numbers of all mine rescue stations, including at least one telephone number for each station that may be called twenty-four hours a day, and a listing of all mines that each such mine rescue station serves in accordance with the provisions of section thirty-five, article one, chapter twenty-two-a of this code
.
(b) Upon the receipt of an emergency call regarding any accident in or about any mine, as defined in section sixty-six, article two, chapter twenty-two-a of this code, the emergency operations center shall immediately notify:
(1) The Director of the Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training;
(2) The district mine inspector assigned to the district or region in which the accident occurred;
(3) All mine rescue stations that provide rescue coverage to the mine in question; and
(4) Local emergency service personnel in the area in which the accident occurred.
(c) In the event that an emergency call regarding any accident in or about any mine, as defined in section sixty-six, article two, chapter twenty-two-a of this code,
is initially received by a local organization for emergency services as defined in section eight, article five of this chapter, or local emergency telephone system operator as defined in article six, chapter twenty-four of this code, such local organization or telephone system operator shall immediately route the call to the emergency operations center, which shall then immediately make the notifications set forth in subdivisions (1), (2) and (3) of subsection (b) of this section.
(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve an operator, as defined in section two, article one, chapter twenty- two-a of this code, from any reporting or notification obligation
under federal law.
(e) The Mine and Industrial Accident Rapid Response System and the emergency operations center are designed and intended to provide communications assistance to emergency responders and other responsible persons. Nothing in this section shall be construed to conflict with the responsibility and authority of an operator to provide mine rescue coverage in accordance with the provisions of section thirty-five, article one, chapter twenty-two-a of this code or the authority of the Director of the Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training to assign mine rescue teams under the provisions of subsection (d), section thirty-five, article one, chapter twenty-two-a of this code or to exercise any other authority provided in chapter twenty-two-a of this code.
§15-5B-4. Study of other industrial emergencies.
The Director of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management shall immediately cause a study to be conducted to determine the feasibility of providing emergency coverage to other industrial, manufacturing, chemical or other emergencies through the Mine and Industrial Accident Rapid Response System. On or before the first day of November, two thousand six, the director shall submit a report to the Governor, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates setting forth the findings of his or her study and recommendations for legislation consistent with the purposes of this article.
§15-5B-5. Rule-making authority.
The Director of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management shall propose rules for legislative promulgation in accordance with article three, chapter twenty-nine- a of this code regarding the implementation and administration of the Mine and Industrial Accident Rapid Response System. From the effective date of this section until the date of promulgation of these rules, the director may promulgate emergency rules in accordance with the applicable provisions of this code in order to implement and administer this system.

CHAPTER 22A. MINERS' HEALTH, SAFETY AND TRAINING.

ARTICLE 2. UNDERGROUND MINES.
§22A-2-55. Protective equipment and clothing. (a) Welders and helpers shall use proper shields or goggles to protect their eyes. All employees shall have approved goggles or shields and use the same where there is a hazard from flying particles, or other eye hazards.
(b) Employees engaged in haulage operations and all other persons employed around moving equipment on the surface and underground shall wear snug-fitting clothing. (c) Protective gloves shall be worn when material which may injure hands is handled, but gloves with gauntleted cuffs shall not be worn around moving equipment. (d) Safety hats and safety-toed shoes shall be worn by all persons while in or around a mine: Provided, That metatarsal guards shall not be required to be worn by persons when working in those areas of underground mine workings which average less than forty- eight inches in height as measured from the floor to the roof of the underground mine workings. (e) Approved eye protection shall be worn by all persons while being transported in open-type man trips. (f) (1) A self-rescue device approved by the director shall be worn by each person underground or kept within his immediate reach, and such device shall be provided by the operator. The self-rescue device shall be adequate to protect such miner for one hour or longer. Each operator shall train each miner in the use of such device, and refresher training courses for all underground employees shall be held during each calendar year.
(2) In addition to the requirements of subdivision (1) of this subsection, the operator shall also provide caches of additional self-rescue devices throughout the mine in accordance with a plan approved by the director. Each such additional self-rescue device shall be adequate to protect a miner for one hour or longer. The total number of additional self-rescue devices, the total number of storage caches and the placement of each such cache throughout the mine shall be established by rule pursuant to subsection (i) of this section. Intrinsically safe battery-powered strobe lights shall be affixed to each cache and shall be capable of automatic activation in the event of an emergency. A luminescent sign with the words "SELF-RESCUER" or "SELF-RESCUERS" shall be conspicuously posted at each such cache and luminescent direction signs shall be posted leading to each cache. Lifeline cords, with reflective material at twenty-five foot intervals, shall be attached to each cache from the last open crosscut to the surface. The operator shall conduct weekly inspections of each cache, the affixed strobe lights, and each lifeline cord to ensure operability.
(3) Any person that, without the authorization of the operator or the director, knowingly removes or attempts to remove any self- rescue device or battery powered strobe light from the mine or mine site with the intent to permanently deprive the operator of the device or light or knowingly tampers with or attempts to tamper with such device or light shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in a state correctional facility for not less than one year nor more than ten years, or fined not less than ten thousand dollars, or both.
(g) (1) A wireless emergency communication device approved by the director shall be worn by each person underground, and such device shall be provided by the operator. The wireless emergency communication device shall be capable of receiving emergency communications from the surface at any location throughout the mine. Each operator shall train each miner in the use of such device, and refresher training courses for all underground employees shall be held during each calendar year. The operator shall install in or around the mine any and all equipment necessary to transmit emergency communications from the surface to each wireless emergency communication device at any location throughout the mine.
(2) Any person that, without the authorization of the operator or the director, knowingly removes or attempts to remove any wireless emergency communication device or related equipment from the mine or mine site with the intent to permanently deprive the operator of the device or equipment or knowingly tampers with or attempts to tamper with such device or equipment shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in a state correctional facility for not less than one year nor more than ten years, or fined not less than ten thousand dollars, or both.
(h) (1) A wireless tracking device approved by the director shall be worn by each person underground, and such device shall be provided by the operator. In the event of an emergency, the tracking device shall be capable of providing real-time monitoring of the physical location of each person underground:
Provided, That no person shall discharge or in any other way discriminate against any miner based on information gathered by such wireless tracking device during non-emergency monitoring. Each operator shall train each miner in the use of such device, and refresher training courses for all underground employees shall be held during each calendar year. The operator shall install in or around the mine any and all equipment necessary to provide real-time emergency monitoring of the physical location of each person underground.
(2) Any person that, without the authorization of the operator or the director, knowingly removes or attempts to remove any wireless tracking device or related equipment from a mine or mine site with the intent to permanently deprive the operator of the device or equipment or knowingly tampers with or attempts to tamper with such device or equipment shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in a state correctional facility for not less than one year nor more than ten years, or fined not less than ten thousand dollars, or both.
(i) The director may promulgate emergency rules to implement and enforce this section pursuant to the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.
§22A-2-66. Accident; notice; investigation by office of miners' health, safety and training.

(a) For the purposes of this section, the term "accident" shall mean:
(1) A death of an individual at a mine; (2) An injury to an individual at a mine which has a reasonable potential to cause death; (3) An entrapment of an individual; (4) An unplanned inundation of a mine by a liquid or gas; (5) An unplanned ignition or explosion of gas or dust;
(6) An unplanned ignition or explosion of a blasting agent or an explosive; (7) An unplanned fire in or about a mine not extinguished within five minutes of ignition; (8) An unplanned roof fall at or above the anchorage zone in active workings where roof bolts are in use or an unplanned roof or rib fall in active workings that impairs ventilation or impedes passage; (9) A coal or rock outburst that causes withdrawal of miners or which disrupts regular mining activity for more than one hour; (10) An unstable condition at an impoundment, refuse pile, or culm bank which requires emergency action in order to prevent failure, or which causes individuals to evacuate an area, or the failure of an impoundment, refuse pile, or culm bank; (11) Damage to hoisting equipment in a shaft or slope which endangers an individual or which interferes with use of the equipment for more than thirty minutes; and (12) An event at a mine which causes death or bodily injury to an individual not at the mine at the time the event occurs;

(b) Whenever by reason of any explosion or other any accident occurs in or about any coal mine or the machinery connected therewith, loss of life, or serious personal injury occurs, it is the duty of the superintendent of the mine, and in his or her absence, operator or the mine foreman in charge of the mine, to give immediate notice, within fifteen minutes of ascertaining the occurrence of the accident, to the director and the inspector of the district mine and industrial accident emergency operations center at the statewide telephone number established by the Director of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management pursuant to the provisions of article five-b, chapter fifteen of this code, stating the particulars of such accident: Provided, That the operator or the mine foreman in charge of the mine may comply with this immediate notice requirement by immediately providing said notice to the appropriate local organization for emergency services as defined in section eight, article five, chapter fifteen of this code, or the appropriate local emergency telephone system operator as defined in article six, chapter twenty-four of this code: Provided, however, That nothing in this subsection shall be construed to relieve the operator from any reporting or notification requirement under federal law.
(c) The Director of the Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training shall impose a civil administrative penalty of one hundred thousand dollars on the operator if it is determined, in the sole discretion of the director, that the operator or the mine foremen in charge of the mine, failed to give immediate notice as required in this section:
Provided, That the director may waive imposition of the civil administrative penalty at any time if he or she finds that the failure to give such immediate notice was caused by circumstances wholly outside the control of the operator.
(d) If anyone is killed, the inspector shall immediately go to the scene of such accident and make such recommendations and render such assistance as he or she may deem necessary for the future safety of the men, and investigate the cause of such explosion or accident and make a record thereof which he or she shall preserve with the other records in his or her office, the cost of such records to be paid by the office of miners' health, safety and training, and a copy shall be furnished to the operator and other interested parties. To enable him or her to make such investigation, he or she has the power to compel the attendance of witnesses and to administer oaths or affirmations. The director has the right to appear and testify and to offer any testimony that may be relevant to the questions and to cross-examine witnesses.

Note: The purpose of this bill is to improve mine and industrial safety; to create and implement the Mine and Industrial Accident Rapid Response System to assist in the coordination and provision of emergency response services in the event of a mine or industrial accident; to establish a statewide emergency telephone number for mining and industrial accidents; to require additional caches of self-rescue devices in underground mines; to require persons working in underground mines to be equipped with wireless communication and tracking devices; to provide criminal penalties for the unauthorized removal of or tampering with certain protective equipment; and to require coal mine operators to give immediate notification to the appropriate emergency response agencies and to provide a civil administrative penalty for the failure to give such notice.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added. §15-5B-1, §15-5B-2, §15-5B-3, §15-5B-4 and §15-5B-5 are new, therefore, underscoring and strike-throughs have been omitted.
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