WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — A group of senators from both parties wants to provide extra protections for mine workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I mean, it’s one of the most dangerous occupations,” Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine said.
Kaine is one of the sponsors of the COVID-19 Mine Worker Protection Act.
“It’s dangerous enough pre-coronavirus, and we want to make sure that our miners are protected during this health crisis,” Kaine said.
Kaine says this bill would forbid mine operators from retaliating against miners who report a COVID-19 infection.
It would also instruct the Mine Safety & Health Administration to require companies to take action to protect minors from the virus. West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito says the miners in her state need the same protections as other workers.
“Whether it’s distancing, whether it’s sanitation, whether it’s mask-wearing, whether its hand sanitizers, and I think MSHA needs to give more guardrails here,” Capito said, referring to the Mine Safety and Health Administration.