SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – In an effort to improve safety conditions for coal miners, State Rep. Larry Walsh, Jr., D-Elwood, is co-sponsoring legislation that will improve emergency preparedness in coal mines.
“Coal mining is a dangerous job, even still in 2018, and we need to make sure we are doing everything we can to keep coal miners and employees safe,” Walsh said. “Should there ever be an emergency, we want to make sure that all our miners are kept safe.”
House Bill 5689 adds multiple safety precautions to mines in an effort to be better prepared for an emergency and protect the lives of the coal miners. The Walsh backed legislation requires stores of portable oxygen masks along primary and secondary emergency exit routs to use if breathable air in the mine is limited during an emergency. Under HB 5689, mines are to have rescue chambers near the entrance of the mine and by each worksite. The legislation also requires half of Miner’s Examining Board be made up of coal miners with at least 5 years of practical and continuous experience as a coal miner.
“These are hard-working folks who deserve a safe working environment,” Walsh said. “I will continue to stand up for working men and women in Illinois to ensure that they have fair wages and working environments.”