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After guard’s death, firm told to require check-in

CHARLESTON (AP) — A security company has been told to include mandatory check-ins for its guards after a supervisor drowned at a Kanawha County coal loading dock.

The state Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training announced the order Thursday to Allied Barton Security during a meeting before the state Board of Coal Mine Health and Safety.

The Charleston Gazette reports the check-in program requires guards to check in at the beginning of their shifts, mid-way through their shifts and any other time deemed necessary.

According to a report released at the hearing, the body of 58-year-old Tommy E. Reynolds of Powellton was found in a sediment control pond April 18 at Law River Co. LLC’s dock facility near Hansford.

Investigators believe Reynolds drove his pickup truck onto the top of a sediment pond berm, where it became stranded, according to a report made public at the board meeting.

“Based on evidence obtained and observations made during the investigation, Mr. Reynolds exited the stranded vehicle and fell into the sediment pond located on the left side of the truck and drowned,” the report said.

The report said the Medical Examiner found that Reynolds had a blood alcohol content of 0.27 percent at the time of this death. Investigators found an empty whiskey bottle in the cab of the truck, the report said.

Reynolds had reported to work at about 4:30 p.m. on April 17 and was not heard from until his body was found at about 5:20 a.m. on April 18, the report said.

White says about two dozen mine security firms employ 1,800 people in West Virginia.

Mine safety office director Eugene White says coal industry security guards often sit “somewhere in the mountains by themselves for hours.”

Reynolds had reported to work at about 4:30 p.m. on April 17 and was not heard from until his body was found at about 5:20 a.m. on April 18, the state report said.

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