May 20, 2011

...intimidated workers who raised safety issues...

Massey Energy Co. ignored well-established safety practices, intimidated workers who raised safety issues and used its clout to exert political influence and resist regulation. From the report: “Such total and catastrophic systemic failures can only be explained in the context of a culture in which wrongdoing became acceptable…It is only in the context of a culture bent on production at the expense of safety that these obvious deviations from decades of known safety practices make sense.”
Persistent black lung, old scourge of coal, found in autopsies of most Massey miners. Autopsies of the 29 men killed in last year’s explosion at the Upper Big Branch coal mine in West Virginia revealed a surprising fact: Most had coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, better known as black lung , a deadly disease that U.S. authorities have been vowing to eradicate for more than 40 years. Center for Public Integrity

Report Faults Massey in Miners' Deaths

A 13-month independent investigation into the coal-mine explosion that killed 29 Massey Energy Co. workers last year concluded that the accident could have been prevented and was primarily the result of the company's failed safety systems, which federal and state regulators failed to correct. The 120-page report by J. Davitt McAteer, the top mine regulator during the Clinton administration, is the first comprehensive account of the worst U.S. coalmining disaster in 40 years, which occurred at Massey's Upper Big Branch mine in Montcoal, W.Va., on April 5, 2010.
The Wall Street Journal  [Author Kris Maher]