St. Petersburg Times Online: Business
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather

printer version

Former Walter employees among mine's inspectors

By SCOTT BARANCIK, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published February 3, 2003

Late last month, the federal Mine Safety and Health Agency admitted that its oversight of an Alabama coal mine where 13 workers died in a 2001 accident was deficient.

In its 128-page internal review, the agency said inspectors responsible for the mine owned by Jim Walter Resources, a unit of Tampa's Walter Industries, were inexperienced, did not always recognize rule violations and sometimes failed to make sure problems were corrected.

One page of the report was devoted to a curious fact: Seven members of the government's inspection staff were former Jim Walter employees.

Legal? Absolutely. Agency rules require only that an employee work two years at the agency before inspecting a former employer's mine.

Walter Industries spokesmen Kyle Parks said company policy is to keep inspectors at arm's length. Rumors that its coal subsidiary received advance notice of inspections, or that it paid for inspector perks, are untrue, he said. "We don't get special treatment."

Back to Business
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Special Links

From the Times
Business report
  • Meltdown
  • A welcome change to welcome centers?
  • Hotels' temporary cutbacks could linger
  • Shuffling the Bucs' supermarket lineup
  • SRI settlement cost it $1.9-million
  • Sometimes it pays to listen to a sales pitch
  • Former Walter employees among mine's inspectors
  • Three question
  • Company notes
  • Profile: Peter Rodriguez Jr.
  • Climbing the ladder
  • AOL vice chairman to speak to forum
  • Game master: Shane Samole carries on his family's playful tradition
  • Solutions: Cost of free software is often poor support
  • Postings
  • Site Seeing
  • The Buzz: Thousands rush to claim CD settlement
  • Web offers images, sounds and words celebrating Black History Month
  • Video Game Reviews
  • Robert Trigaux: Five years after boy's death, parents still battle cruise line

  • From the AP
    Business wire

    From the state business wire

  • Judge denies dismissal of Citigroup shareholder suits
  • Carnival to buy 4 cruise ships from Italian builder