Charleston, W.Va. — In the last two years, more than 550 West Virginia coal miners have temporarily lost their mining certifications because they failed a drug test.
State Office of Miner’s Health, Safety and Training Eugene White released the numbers to a legislative panel Monday.
Over that timeframe, 79 mine workers were reinstated and 67 are currently in a treatment plan.
After not responding to temporary suspension letters at all, 269 miners are facing three-year suspensions.
White’s report says prescription drugs are the main problem. Marijuana is second.
A wide-sweeping mine safety law that took effect in January 2013 requires coal mine operators and certain employers to screen for substance abuse.