April 22, 2010 archive

On Making Mining Safer, Part Two, Or, “Can We Appeal Safety To Death?”

It was about a week ago that we last got together to talk about safety in coal mines, and we have some new developments in the story that deserve a bit more of your attention.

As we discussed last time, there are a huge number of hazards inherent in the operations of underground coal mines, and there are a series of “mitigators” that can be applied to reduce those hazards.

Ironically, the biggest hazard these miners face today might not be underground at all.

In today’s story we’ll consider the possibility that the most dangerous location in the mining industry might actually be at the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, where an enormous backlog in enforcement actions is keeping dangerous mines open that might otherwise be closed.

It’s a “bad news, good news” story-but it really does have a potential happy ending, and with a bit of pressure, we can actually make life a whole lot better for miners, and their families, all across the country.  

Afternoon Edition

Afternoon Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Silent tribute as China mourns quake victims

by Marianne Barriaux, AFP

1 hr 49 mins ago

BEIJING (AFP) – China observed a day of national mourning on Wednesday for victims of its killer quake, with newspaper front pages bathed in black and flags lowered to half-mast around the country.

Top leaders and thousands of other people paid a silent tribute to the victims of the 6.9 magnitude earthquake that struck a remote area of northwestern China a week ago, leaving at least 2,064 people dead.

Another 175 people were still missing and more than 12,000 injured after the quake flattened thousands of mainly mudbrick and wood homes in the Yushu region of Qinghai province, a rugged area populated by ethnic Tibetans.

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