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Upper Big Branch worker used forged foreman's license

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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-10 09:57 AM
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Upper Big Branch worker used forged foreman's license
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A month before the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster, a Massey Energy worker admitted that he had used what turned out to be a forged foreman's card when he conducted hundreds of mine safety checks at the Raleigh County operation, the Sunday Gazette-Mail has learned.

Thomas Harrah of Seth performed at least 228 pre-shift, on-shift and conveyor belt safety examinations at Upper Big Branch over a nearly two-year period from January 2008 to August 2009, according to state records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

Later, state investigators learned that Harrah was using a certification number that actually belonged to another individual. By then, though, Harrah had started using another certification number -- again belonging to a different individual -- and was performing safety checks at another Massey operation, the Slip Ridge Cedar Grove Mine, in August 2009, state records show.

Harrah had a state license to work as an underground coal miner, but he failed the test to become a certified mine foreman. Mine foremen not only supervise other workers, they also perform important safety checks and sign required reports meant to document that any problems discovered are corrected before miners go to work.

http://sundaygazettemail.com/News/201012120034
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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-04-11 05:33 AM
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1. More Massey workers face license-forging allegations
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- At least two other men face losing their coal-mining certifications after they were caught using allegedly forged foremen's licenses while working for Massey Energy, according to state records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

The state Coal Mine Safety Board of Appeals temporarily suspended mining certifications for the two men -- Craig W. Belcher and Scott E. Jeffrey -- but has yet to hold formal hearings or make final decisions in either case.

Those cases remain pending, while one former worker at Massey's Upper Big Branch Mine had his mining certification suspended for a year for using a forged foreman's license.

And in the last week, three miners at other companies in West Virginia have been charged with federal crimes after they allegedly used forged foreman's licenses when they conducted dozens of safety checks in three different counties.

http://wvgazette.com/News/201012150673
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