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Committee Substitute House Bill 4021 History

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HB4021 SUB
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE

FOR

H. B. 4021



(By Mr. Speaker, (Mr. Thompson) and Delegate Armstead)

[By Request of the Executive]


(Originating in the House Judiciary Committee )


[January 29, 2008]


A BILL to amend and reenact §22A-2-55 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend and reenact §61-3-12 and §61-3-29 of said code, all relating generally to coal mine health and safety; eliminating requirement that strobe lights be affixed to caches of self-contained self-rescue devices; expanding criminal penalties for theft of certain coal mine equipment; establishing criminal penalties for illegal entry into underground coal mines and surrounding property; creating a criminal penalty for damage or destruction of coal mine equipment and property; and creating a criminal penalty for damage or destruction of coal mine equipment and property when a serious bodily injury results.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §22A-2-55 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that §61-3-12 and §61-3-29 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
CHAPTER 22A. MINERS' HEALTH, SAFETY AND TRAINING.
ARTICLE 2. UNDERGROUND MINES.
§22A-2-55. Protective equipment and clothing.

(a) Welders and helpers shall use proper shields or goggles to protect their eyes. All employees shall have approved goggles or shields and use the same where there is a hazard from flying particles or other eye hazards.
(b) Employees engaged in haulage operations and all other persons employed around moving equipment on the surface and underground shall wear snug-fitting clothing.
(c) Protective gloves shall be worn when material which may injure hands is handled, but gloves with gauntleted cuffs shall not be worn around moving equipment.
(d) Safety hats and safety-toed shoes shall be worn by all persons while in or around a mine: Provided, That metatarsal guards are not required to be worn by persons when working in those areas of underground mine workings which average less than forty-eight inches in height as measured from the floor to the roof of the underground mine workings.
(e) Approved eye protection shall be worn by all persons while being transported in open-type man trips.
(f)(1) A self-contained self-rescue device approved by the director shall be worn by each person underground or kept within his immediate reach and the device shall be provided by the operator. The self-contained self-rescue device shall be adequate to protect a miner for one hour or longer. Each operator shall train each miner in the use of such device and refresher training courses for all underground employees shall be held during each calendar year.
(2) In addition to the requirements of subdivision (1) of this subsection, the operator shall also provide caches of additional self-contained self-rescue devices throughout the mine in accordance with a plan approved by the director. Each additional self-contained self-rescue device shall be adequate to protect a miner for one hour or longer. The total number of additional self-contained self-rescue devices, the total number of storage caches and the placement of each cache throughout the mine shall be established by rule pursuant to subsection (i) of this section. Intrinsically safe battery-powered strobe lights shall be affixed to each cache and shall be capable of automatic activation in the event of an emergency. A luminescent sign with the words "SELF-CONTAINED SELF-RESCUER" or "SELF-CONTAINED SELF-RESCUERS" shall be conspicuously posted at each cache and luminescent direction signs shall be posted leading to each cache. Lifeline cords or other similar device, with reflective material at twenty-five foot intervals, shall be attached to each cache from the last open crosscut to the surface. The operator shall conduct weekly inspections of each cache the affixed strobe lights and each lifeline cord or other similar device to ensure operability.
(3) Any person that, without the authorization of the operator or the director, knowingly removes or attempts to remove any self-contained self-rescue device or battery-powered strobe light lifeline cord from the mine or mine site with the intent to permanently deprive the operator of the device or light lifeline cord or knowingly tampers with or attempts to tamper with such device or light lifeline cord shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in a state correctional facility for not less than one year nor more than ten years or fined not less than ten thousand dollars nor more than one hundred thousand dollars, or both.
(g)(1) A wireless emergency communication device approved by the director and provided by the operator shall be worn by each person underground. The wireless emergency communication device shall, at a minimum, be capable of receiving emergency communications from the surface at any location throughout the mine. Each operator shall train each miner in the use of the device and provide refresher training courses for all underground employees during each calendar year. The operator shall install in or around the mine any and all equipment necessary to transmit emergency communications from the surface to each wireless emergency communication device at any location throughout the mine.
(2) Any person that, without the authorization of the operator or the director, knowingly removes or attempts to remove any wireless emergency communication device or related equipment, from the mine or mine site with the intent to permanently deprive the operator of the device or equipment or knowingly tampers with or attempts to tamper with the device or equipment shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in a state correctional facility for not less than one year nor more than ten years or fined not less than ten thousand dollars nor more than one hundred thousand dollars, or both.
(h)(1) A wireless tracking device approved by the director and provided by the operator shall be worn by each person underground. In the event of an accident or other emergency, the tracking device shall, at a minimum, be capable of providing real-time monitoring of the physical location of each person underground: Provided, That no person shall discharge or discriminate against any miner based on information gathered by a wireless tracking device during nonemergency monitoring. Each operator shall train each miner in the use of the device and provide refresher training courses for all underground employees during each calendar year. The operator shall install in or around the mine all equipment necessary to provide real-time emergency monitoring of the physical location of each person underground.
(2) Any person that, without the authorization of the operator or the director, knowingly removes or attempts to remove any wireless tracking device or related equipment, approved by the director, from a mine or mine site with the intent to permanently deprive the operator of the device or equipment or knowingly tampers with or attempts to tamper with the device or equipment shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in a state correctional facility for not less than one year nor more than ten years or fined not less than ten thousand dollars nor more than one hundred thousand dollars, or both.
(i) The director may promulgate emergency and legislative rules to implement and enforce this section pursuant to the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.
(j) The penalties set forth in this article enacted during the regular session of the Legislature in January, two thousand six, shall become effective the first day of July, two thousand six.
CHAPTER 61. CRIMES AND THEIR PUNISHMENT.

ARTICLE 3. CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY.
§61-3-12. Entry of building other than dwelling; entry of railroad, traction or motorcar, steamboat or other vessel; penalties; counts in indictment.

If any person shall, at any time, break and enter, or shall enter without breaking, any office, shop, underground coal mine or the immediate enclosed areas surrounding such mine, storehouse, warehouse, banking house, or any house or building, other than a dwelling house or outhouse adjoining thereto or occupied therewith, or any railroad or traction car, propelled by steam, electricity or otherwise, or any steamboat or other boat or vessel, within the jurisdiction of any county in this state, with intent to commit a felony or any larceny, he or she shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction, shall be confined in the penitentiary a state correctional facility not less than one nor more than ten years. And if any person shall, at any time, break and enter, or shall enter without breaking, any automobile, motorcar or bus, with like intent, within the jurisdiction of any county in this state, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, shall be confined in the county jail not less than two nor more than twelve months and be fined not exceeding one hundred dollars.
An indictment for burglary may contain one or more counts for breaking and entering, or for entering without breaking, the house or building mentioned in the count for burglary under the provisions of this and the preceding section.
§61-3-29. Damage or destruction of railroad or public utility company property, or real or personal property used for producing, generating, transmitting, distributing, treating or collecting electricity, natural gas, coal, water, wastewater, stormwater, telecommunications or cable service; penalties; restitution.

(a) Any person who knowingly and willfully damages or destroys any real or personal property owned by a railroad company, or public utility company, any real or personal property owned or leased by a coal operator for any purpose associated with the operation of a coal mine or other activity or function associated with coal mining, processing or distribution, or any real or personal property used for producing, generating, transmitting, distributing, treating or collecting electricity, natural gas, coal, water, wastewater, stormwater, telecommunications or cable service, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than two thousand dollars, or confined in the county or regional jail not more than one year, or both.
(b) Any person who knowingly and willfully: (1) damages or destroys any real or personal property owned by a railroad company, or public utility company, any real or personal property owned or leased by a coal operator for any purpose associated with the operation of a coal mine or other activity or function associated with coal mining, processing or distribution, or any real or personal property used for producing, generating, transmitting, distributing, treating or collecting electricity, natural gas, coal, water, wastewater, stormwater, telecommunications or cable service; causing and, (2) causes serious bodily injury to another is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than five thousand dollars nor more than fifty thousand dollars, or confined in a state correctional facility not less than one nor more than five years, or both.
(c) Nothing in this section may be construed to limit or restrict the ability of an entity referred to in subsection (a) or (b) of this section or a property owner or other person who has been damaged or injured as a result of a violation of this section from seeking recovery for damages arising from violation of this section.
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