Mine Safety Advocate Tony Oppegard '80 in The Courier-Journal
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Posted by: Max Rodriguez
Mine safety advocate Tony Oppegard '80 was quoted in The Courier-Journal on the closing of a Leslie County, KY coal mine for 8 days after an unannounced inspection turned up major safety hazards.
From The Courier-Journal: "The Mine Safety and Health Administration’s June 21 inspection of Bledsoe Coal Corp.’s Abner Branch Rider Mine in Big Laurel — the third safety blitz at the same site since April 2010 — resulted in 31 citations and orders, forcing the mine to close until it took care of numerous dangerous conditions. MSHA has not yet determined the dollar amounts for penalties connected to the new violations.
Tony Oppegard, a former state and federal mine safety official, said he was disturbed by MSHA’s new findings at Abner Branch because the mine is one of two in the nation put under a "pattern of violations” notice by the government.
A Lexington, Ky., attorney, Oppegard is representing the Brock family in a wrongful death suit against Bledsoe and James River. No trial date has been set.
"You would think, given all their safety problems, including Travis Brock’s death, that (Abner Branch) would have a heightened sense of vigilance with regard to safety,” Oppegard said."
Read the full article in The Courier-Journal, "Leslie coal mine closed 8 days"