Coal Tattoo

Mine safety: How change happens

We’ve tried our best on this blog and in the Gazette to cover the efforts of Mrs. Caitlin O’Dell to turn the incredibly untimely — and totally preventable — death of her husband into some sort of reform for West Virginia’s coal-mining industry.

The move in April by the West Virginia Board of Coal Mine Health and Safety to begin the process of requiring proximity detection systems on underground coal-mining equipment in the state was without doubt pushed forward by her efforts. The board — with a healthy dose of transparency and public involvement — has come a long way since they flatly rejected Mrs. O’Dell’s initial request back in October 2013.

Above is speech she gave to mine inspectors before they received their training on implementing the new rules … watch it.