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News Statement: [07/01/2010]
Contact:   Jesse Lawder
Phone:    202-693-4659
Release Number 10-935-NAT


Statement of US Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis on introduction of new mine safety legislation

WASHINGTON - Secretary Solis today issued the following statement on the introduction of the Miner Safety and Health Act of 2010 (H.R. 5663) in the U.S. House of Representatives:

"The legislation introduced today by Congressman Miller represents an historic step to strengthen safety laws for our nation's miners. The bill contains key provisions that will empower miners to speak up about hazards in the workplace. It also gives the Mine Safety and Health Administration additional tools the agency can use against mine operators who continue to put their workers at risk.

"There is a tremendous need for swift action on this legislation, as we learned today of a man who died while working in a West Virginia coal mine. We cannot and must not take safety for granted. Mine operators must prioritize worker safety, and this bill will compel them to so that every miner can return home safe after his or her shift.

"The Labor Department and MSHA have worked together with Congressman Miller and his staff on the important provisions of this bill. We fully endorse the efforts to strengthen mine safety and health laws because, ultimately, we all share the goal of safer workplaces for our nation's workers.

"The tragic events of April 5 were a stark reminder of the need to remain vigilant about safe working conditions in the mines. President Obama promised the families of the 29 miners who were killed at Upper Big Branch that this administration would take action to ensure that another disaster like this one doesn't occur. With the introduction today of this legislation, our work to make good on that promise has taken an important step forward."

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