Whitesburg KY

550 miners failed drug screens

In the last two years, more than 550 West Virginia coal miners have temporarily lost their mining certifi- cations because they failed a drug test.

State Office of Miner’s Health, Safety and Training Eugene White released the numbers to a legislative panel this week.

Over that timeframe, 79 mine workers were reinstated and 67 are currently in a treatment plan.

After not responding to temporary suspension letters at all, 269 miners are facing three-year suspensions.

White’s report says prescription drugs are the main problem. Marijuana is second.

A wide-sweeping mine safety law that took effect in January 2013 requires coal mine operators and certain employers to screen for substance abuse.

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