Tennessee Mining Company Backs State-Level Mandatory Workplace Drug Tests

A junior mining company that keeps its headquarters in Johnson City, Tennessee, is supporting the implementation of mandatory drug testing in the workplace at the state level. New Century Coal, Inc. is endorsing state-level mandatory drug testing, which will allow employers to take steps and initiate policies to see to it that their employers are not taking or using alcohol or drugs; selling drugs; or are affected by the after effects of indulging in alcohol or drugs when they are not at work. New Century Coal, Inc. was founded in 2006, and its area of concentration is the Appalachian Basin. The company’s main focus is expanding its coal mining operations in Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, and Tennessee. Tennessee state law allows voluntary drug testing in any of the following situations: in application process after a conditional offer; due to reasonable suspicion; and following an accident that resulted in injury. There is an ongoing debate in the mining industry over the approach to safety, and in most major industries, drugs and safety are topics that are often discussed together. Major mining states, including West Virginia, have been talking about the need to implement mandatory drug testing, as drugs have been found to be a factor in safety concerns in the industry. A report on the Huffington Post indicated that “An official with [W. Va]’s mine safety office testified that drugs were a factor in roughly 200 — or about 3.7 percent — of the 5,413 complaints and incidents the agency investigated in 2011.”

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