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Longtime inspector named to lead role at W.Va. Office of Miners’ Health, Safety & Training

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Greg Norman, a mine inspector for the past decade, has been appointed to be the director of the West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health, Safety & Training, Gov. Jim Justice announced today. Eugene White will serve as the deputy director for the agency.

Greg Norman was hired by Miners’ Health, Safety & Training in 2006 as a district inspector in the Region Two Welch office and also performed the duties of electrical inspector. Two years later, he was named as assistant inspector-at-large for the Region Two office of Miners’ Health, Safety & Training and was promoted to supervisor of the Region Two office as Inspector-at-Large in 2010.

Norman was later assigned to the Charleston Miners’ Health, Safety & Training office to perform special assignments for the director, C. A. Phillips, during the time when the agency was conducting its investigation into the Upper Big Branch mine disaster. In 2013 he was appointed to the position of deputy director of the agency.

Jim Justice

In the announcement, Justice stated, “Greg Norman has always been a strong advocate for our coal miners and will continue working to keep them as safe as possible. He has the experience and the knowledge to improve safety and enhance training. Greg’s expertise will continue to make a real difference for our miners.”

Justice himself has significant coal holdings, inheriting his family’s mining business, Bluestone Coal Corp., selling some of it to the Russian company Mechel in 2009 before buying it back in 2015. Justice says he has turned over day-to-day operations of the coal holdings to his son Jay. An NPR analysis of federal data last fall showed that Justice is now the nation’s top mine safety delinquent. Many of those fines were levied at the federal level.

Norman stated, “I am honored to continue serving our state and the coal miners of West Virginia. My objective is to continue to increase the safety of the workplace for all coal miners in West Virginia and to look at new technology available to increase safety.”

Greg Norman has a long mining career that began in 1975 at National Mine Corporation in Pineville. He worked in mines as a general inside laborer, shuttle car operator, roof bolter, certified electrician and a member of the mine rescue team. In 1978 Norman went to work for Robinson Phillips Coal Company performing duties of electrician, a maintenance foreman and mine rescue member.

From 1979 to 1998 he continued his mining career with U.S. Steel Mining working as a longwall electrician, prep plant electrician and electrician on continuous miner sections. During that period he also served as chairman of the United Mine Workers of America Local 1713 safety committee and as President of the local.

He worked as a field representative for UMWA District 29 from 2000 to 2003 and also served as an International safety representative.


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