Measure Launched After W. Virginia Mining Disaster
Gov. Rod Blagojevich says a bill he signed today will make Illinois mines safer.
The Illinois General Assembly approved the new mine safety standards in May in response to the Sago Mine disaster in West Virginia that killed 12 miners.
The measure, SB929, requires Illinois mine operators to build rescue chambers within the mines to protect employees against potential hazards during an emergency.
Mine operators also would have to install lifelines and illuminated signs to help miners escape during an emergency.
The plan calls for each miner to carry portable emergency oxygen tanks, which would need to be checked daily.
Illinois coal mines have gone three straight years without a worker being killed.
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