§22A-1-40. Reporting violations, accident investigations; witness interviews.

     (a) To the extent permitted by law, any person meeting with, or providing a statement to, the director may request to do so on a confidential basis without the consent, presence, involvement or knowledge of any third party. Upon such a request, the director shall keep the identity of any individual providing such a statement and the statement itself confidential, to the extent permitted by law, and the statement shall be exempt from disclosure under article one, chapter twenty-nine-b of this code. Nothing in this section precludes a person from being represented when speaking with the director. Further, nothing in this section precludes a person under subpoena or who is voluntarily speaking with the director from authorizing any other person from participation in such meeting or statement.

     (b) If any miner is entrapped, fatally injured or otherwise unable, as the result of an accident, to designate a representative to observe witness interviews and investigatory hearings conducted in an accident investigation, the miner's closest relative may designate one representative who may, subject to subsection (a) of this section, attend witness interviews and investigatory hearings regarding the accident for the sole purpose of observing such interviews and hearings and conveying information to the accident victim's family: Provided, That the right of a designated representative to observe witness interviews and investigatory hearings pursuant to this subsection shall be subject to subsection (a) of this section and shall not extend to interviews or investigatory hearings of a criminal nature conducted by state or federal inspectors or other state or federal law enforcement officers. No more than five representatives designated pursuant to this section may attend witness interviews and investigatory hearings for the purpose of observing such interviews and hearings and conveying information to accident victims' families.

     (c) The director shall, in consultation with the Board of Coal Mine Health and Safety, develop a list of persons skilled in the fields of grief and crisis management, communications and family support. Following any mining accident involving entrapped miners or fatal injuries, the director shall promptly provide the list of such individuals to the families of the accident victim or victims. The individuals contained on the list developed by the Director shall be available as a resource to families of accident victims who seek their assistance. The list shall also contain a reference to this code section and a statement that the family has the right to designate a representative of their choosing regardless of whether that person is named on the list.