Rep. Cartwright introduces legislation that would protect miners from COVID-19 exposure

U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) recently introduced a bill in the House of Representatives that would create a plan to help mine operators tackle occupational COVID-19 exposure.

The COVID-19 Mine Worker Protection Act would require the U.S. Department of Labor to issue mine operators an emergency temporary standard. This standard would require the operators to provide miners with personal protective equipment; incorporate relevant scientific research and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH); coordinate with the CDC and NIOSH to track, analyze, and investigate mine-related COVID-19 infections data to protect miners from the virus; and develop and implement a comprehensive infectious disease exposure control plan to protect miners from COVID-19 exposure at work.

“In Northeastern Pennsylvania, where mine workers’ organizing is a time-honored tradition, we know how important it is to ensure they are protected. As they continue to work in close quarters and tough conditions, miners remain at high risk for COVID-19 infection,” Cartwright said. “This is a bill supported by both Democrats and Republicans that would implement responsible safety guidance and deliver personal protective equipment so that miners can continue to work, stay healthy, and provide for their families during this health crisis.”

U.S. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced the same bill in the Senate.

Melina Druga

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