State to require heart devices in mines
By Kim Leonard
Published: Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
Pennsylvania is about to become the first state to require installation of automated external defibrillators, portable devices that aid someone in cardiac arrest, in underground coal mines.
Defibrillators are to be installed by March 8 at the state's 36 underground bituminous mines, which employ more than 5,000 people, the Department of Environmental Protection said Thursday. The devices are to be placed on the surface near the mine entry, and underground in each active, working mine section.
“These defibrillators will help save lives in our underground mines,” DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said in a statement, adding Pennsylvania has gone an unprecedented 42 months without a fatality in an underground mine.
A citizen's suggestion about two years ago led to the new rule, which will appear in Saturday's issue of the Pennsylvania Bulletin, DEP spokesman Kevin Sunday said.
Defibrillators use short, electric shocks to restore a stable heart rhythm in someone having a heart attack. Under the rule, no worker would be more than 1,000 feet from a device, Sunday said.
The state's Board of Coal Mine Safety, which includes DEP, United Mine Workers and coal mine operator representatives, came up with the regulations that also require emergency medical technicians to be trained to use the equipment.
“It's a good thing to put defibrillators in mines. I've been in many mines that have them already” in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and other states, UMW spokesman Phil Smith said.
Sunday didn't have the name of the person who suggested the rule, but said officials had to take time to study whether the electronic devices would be safe in mines.
“The concern with having anything underground was the potential for a spark,” he said, but with new technology and safety standards, “There is a way now to have them underground, and operate safely.”
Kim Leonard is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5606 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Consol Energy transitions as leadership changes hands
- PPG sales, operating profit see double-digit increases
- Factory output extends solid gains in March
- Fed Beige Book survey: Growth picks up across most of U.S. but not in Pittsburgh region
- GlaxoSmithKline discloses bribery inquiries
- Higher fuel costs help established airlines, hinder startups
- Mt. Gox bankruptcy protection rejected
- Gap outlines growth plans for China
- Yellen stresses need for Fed to be flexible
- Programs help to nudge unemployment among veterans downward
- Heinz offers Pittsburgh workers a buyout if they are unhappy