New U.S. mine-safety head digs into job

New U.S. mine-safety head digs into job

The new chief of the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration, Richard Stickler, announced a three-point “action plan” on his first day on the job.

Stickler told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Saturday that his first priority is to have more mine inspectors spending more time underground looking for violations, and to crack down on flagrant violations.

He also said that he would be busy writing regulations to enforce new laws and that he wants more timely and accurate reports on future mining disasters.

But as Stickler was busy setting his three primary goals for the mine agency, detractors were saying that he had no business being head of Mine Safety in the first place.

Both of West Virginia’s U.S. senators have said that he lacks the trust of miners and the United Mine Workers of America has also lined up against him.

Stickler, a former Pennsylvania mine-safety official, says he plans to reach out to critics. He told the Post-Gazette he “would welcome the opportunity to meet with any senator who has concerns.”

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