CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The United Mine Workers of America and the United Steelworkers union are applauding a federal court’s Tuesday ruling on mine safety examinations.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled mine operators should not be allowed to conduct such evaluations while miners are working in the mine. Both unions argued such practice would have put the inspectors at risk.

“Metal and nonmetal miners can now be more confident that their workplace is as safe as it can be before their shift starts, instead of learning about a safety hazard after they are already in the mine,” UMWA president Cecil Roberts said Wednesday in a press release.

The examinations instead have to happen before miners begin their shift.

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