Hamilton said mine operators and equipment makers need more time to act.
"It would appear that the timeline proposed is not sufficient," Hamilton said.
Brian Thompson, an official from Joy Manufacturing, said his company would have to retrofit 64 continuous mining machines a month to meet the deadlines set in the MSHA proposal.
Thompson said Joy doesn't have the facilities or staff for that, but O'Dell suggested the company could provide an "economic stimulus" by hiring more workers to get the job done.
Hamilton said the industry believes MSHA should focus on continuing educational and training programs to teach miners to avoid moving equipment.
Greg Wagner, MSHA's deputy assistant secretary for policy, said the agency moved toward a rule only when it became clear that those other strategies weren't working.
Between 1984 and 2010, 30 miners were killed and 220 were injured when they became crushed, pinned or were struck by underground mining machines, MSHA said in its rule-making proposal.
"There were two fatalities and four injuries in 2010 where a continuous mining machine pinned, crushed, or struck a miner," MSHA said. "In 2011, a continuous mining machine operator was fatally injured. The preliminary report of the accident states the operator was pinned by the machine."
Reach Ken Ward Jr. at kw...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1702.