Federal agency proposes drug tests for miners

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- The federal agency that regulates the nation's coal and non-coal mines says it will revise its drug and alcohol policy to include substance abuse testing for all miners.

Mine Safety and Health Administration Director Richard Stickler says mining is a dangerous business that is only made more so when a miner is under the influence.

The agency doesn't track if drugs or alcohol contributed to an injury or death, but MSHA says numerous investigations have discoverd alcohol or drug paraphernalia near an accident scene.

MSHA estimates it will cost the industry about $16 million the first year to comply, and $13 million a year thereafter.

The agency expects to file a proposed regulation on Monday. Interested parties have until Oct. 8 to respond.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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