Three former officials at an eastern Kentucky mine where a coal miner was killed in 2011 have been fined in federal court and ordered to spend time on probation for violating federal mine safety standards.
U.S. District Judge Gregory van Tatenhove scheduled a hearing to determine whether to impose a fine for Manalapan Mining Co.
The men were supervisors at Manalapan's P-1 Mine in Harlan County during a June 2011 underground collapse that killed miner David Partin.
The U.S. Department of Labor has approved new rules it says will improve safety at the nation's most dangerous coal mines by revising the way operators are designated pattern violators.
Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said they improve the Mine Safety and Health Administration's ability to hold mine operators accountable for disregarding life saving safety measures. MSHA chief Joe Main says they're long overdue and could prevent 1,800 injuries over ten years.
The changes were proposed after the Upper Big Branch mine exploded in April 2010, killing 29 men.