New Online Tools Aim to Help Miners Understand Their Rights

The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration has released new Internet tools to help miners better understand their rights and responsibilities. According to the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, miners can’t be discriminated against for raising concerns about workplace safety or requesting MSHA inspections.

The new tools include an electronic form for filling out hazard or discrimination complaints anonymously, information about black lung benefits and videos addressing common concerns. Issues surrounding miners’ fear of discrimination for reporting unsafe conditions arose last year after the explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety Joe Main says his agency’s goal is to make sure all miners understand their rights.