"Celeste Monforton, a workplace safety expert and former MSHA employee who’s investigated mining disasters, said only a 'very small fraction' of non-union mines have representatives who walk with inspectors," Jamieson writes. Monforton told him, “It’s such a unique protection. It’s really unfortunate that more miners don’t understand what it is and how they can really take advantage of it.”
|Michael 'Flip' Wilson|
"For most of his four-decade career, Wilson wasn’t even aware of mine-safety laws, let alone helping to enforce them," Jamieson writes. "Wherever he worked, he tended to skirt safety precautions for the sake of production, just like many of his co-workers and supervisors did. He obeyed the unspoken rule of every mine he worked in: The coal must flow, or you must go. But over time, he came to know many workers who were hurt or killed on the job. And eventually, he had a hard time breathing. He had a chest X-ray done and found out he’d developed black lung disease due to years of exposure to high levels of coal dust."
Wilson, who said typically two to three violations are found during each of his Armstrong tours—Parkway has 400 violations since June 2015—told Jamieson, “I’ve seen enough people hurt in the mines in my time, especially the young boys. Matter of fact, I’ve packed some of ‘em out. I just want to make sure that the mine is running safe and that they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing. I’m thinking about the men and the safety of everybody up there. I don’t wanna see nobody hurt, but I know how the company is operating.”