Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry vows to put someone in charge of the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) who is committed “to protect the workers, not the coal companies,” according to his campaign.

In a prepared statement, the Kerry campaign harshly criticized the Bush administration’s record on coal-mine safety.

“George W. Bush has had the wrong philosophy and has installed a mining executive to the top position when he should have put someone who is an advocate for mine workers,” the statement said.

The Kerry campaign promised to implement recommendations of a government investigation into MSHA activity:

  • Monitor the timeliness of inspections conducted as part of the six-month review of certain mine plans.

  • Ensure that mine operators correct hazards identified during inspections in a timely manner.

  • Develop a plan to address expected shortages in the number of qualified MSHA inspectors as current employees retire.

  • Revise the systems used to collect information on accidents and investigations.