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Monday, August 2, 2010

An Accident Waiting To Happen

In the interest of full disclosure, I worked for a hydraulics and machining company for 5 years that exclusively serviced the mining industry in Western Kentucky, Southern Illinois, Southern Indiana, and Northern Alabama. I have intimate knowledge of how miners are treated, how management uses their workers, and how safety is often usurped in order for quota to be met and profitability to increase.

With that in mind, and with my proximity to the recent Dotiki Mine disaster this Spring, I am actually not surprised at what Rand Paul thinks about mine safety and the decisions workers make.

“The bottom line is: I’m not an expert, so don’t give me the power in Washington to be making rules,” Paul said at a recent campaign stop in response to questions about April’s deadly mining explosion in West Virginia…“You live here, and you have to work in the mines. You’d try to make good rules to protect your people here. If you don’t, I’m thinking that no one will apply for those jobs.”

The choice for many people in my region - Hopkins County, not 20 miles from the Dotiki Mine in Webster County - is often one of either "support your family with a fairly decent amount of money" or "work far too much for not enough money if you can find work".

Safety in this working environment is second to production, don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise. My friend Micheal Carter is dead now because of negligence of Alliance Coal, Dotiki management - and by extension - companies that provide substandard supplies and equipment in order to save money rather than lives.

Are Kentucky residents really so ignorant and blind to reality that they would elect this man?

If there is a God somewhere, I hope that he or she would not allow this to happen.

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