A new state mine safety rule will require coal operators to install detection systems that automatically shut down continuous mining machines when people get too close.
The rule gives companies until July 1, 2017, to install proximity detection systems on machines already in service. The systems will be required on new machines put into service after Jan. 1, 2015, and on rebuilt machines after July 1, 2015.
The Charleston Gazette reported that the Board of Coal Mine Health and Safety approved the rule.
Proximity detection systems also will be required on other mobile underground equipment by July 2017. However, coal operators can use blind-spot cameras or unspecified other alternatives.
The rule goes into effect July 1.