Federal Coal Mine Safety Act of 1952, The


President Truman signed the Federal Coal Mine Safety Act of 1952 in effect after the Illinois Orient mine explosion of 1951 that killed 119 miners. The Act granted the Bureau of Mines power to annually inspect underground coal mines that employed more than 15 workers and to level civil penalties against non-compliant operators, although it would not be until the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969 that monetary penalties could be held against fractious mines. This was the first such case of government mandated mine safety inspection. The Federal Coal Mine Safety Act also set forth the first rock dusting regulation standards.