Random drug testing of coal mine employees and not just its miners may soon become a reality in the Mountain State.
The House Judiciary Committee wants West Virginia to make it a requirement for coal mine employees to be randomly drug tested.
That's one of several changes the committee made Thursday to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's mine safety bill. The measure heads to the full House of Delegates.
The governor proposed testing miners, who are certified by the state. The committee's amendment expands that to anyone working at a mine. It also provides for appealing rest results.
Tomblin has proposed a number of steps aimed at improving mine safety. They include whistleblower protections and stiffer penalties for violations. Several respond to the 2010 explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in Raleigh County. Twenty-nine miners died in what became the worst U.S. coal mining disaster in four decades.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)