Two coal miners were injured recently when a section of rock fell from the ceiling of the mine as they were working. The mine, located approximately 40 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, was temporarily shut down to allow state and federal investigators to assess the damage and determine when the mine is safe to resume operations. Officials noted that this is standard procedure following workplace accidents in underground mines.
Emergency personnel worked for approximately 30 minutes to rescue the injured workers who were taken to a nearby hospital and treated for minor injuries. According to preliminary reports, the men were working in a small, confined area when the rock became dislodged from the ceiling, striking the workers who suffered back and knee injuries. Rescue personnel reported that the two workers apparently did not lose consciousness from the accident.
Preliminary investigations of the most recent accident indicate that the roof maintained intact with only a rock becoming dislodged. The rock's dimensions were estimated to be approximately 4 feet by 3 inches.
When accidents happen that result in injuries, workers may find that seeking the counsel of an experienced attorney is wise. Sometimes employers encourage injured workers to sign waivers or other documents that attempt to reduce or absolve the employer of liability. An attorney who is experienced in cases involving workplace injuries may best advise the worker in matters of settling, or perhaps seeking compensation for damages in court if the employer is unwilling to take responsibility.
In the matter of coal mine working environments, government agencies such as OSHA require minimum safety standards to be in place for worker protection. An experienced lawyer will likely have knowledge as to these minimum standards and know how to recognize the signs of employer negligence and take appropriate action on behalf of the injured worker.
Source: WTRF, "2 injured in W. Pa. mine collapse", June 24, 2013