Not as many people work in coal mines today as in years past. Automation, safety concerns and the development of alternative energy sources have made the profession of coal miner much less common. However, there are still a number of active mines around the country -- particularly in our part of the country -- and when a workplace accident takes place at a coal mine, the results can be deadly.
That was the case this week at a coal mine in nearby West Virginia. According to the Mining Safety and Health Administration, two miners somehow became trapped in a coal mine due to a ground failure. Both of the workers were killed, and officials were investigating the accident.
Regulators are familiar with this coal mine. Back in October, officials said the mine had been guilty of numerous violations of health and safety regulations over the previous year. As a result, the mine was labeled a pattern violator. In spite of this designation, however, two miners lost their lives at the mine in the incident this week.
This is particularly important because of a spate of mining accidents in recent months. Since October, nearly 20 miners have been killed in accidents; just last week, MSHA reported that the first quarter saw eight deaths in mines, including three fatalities from coal mining accidents.
Workers who are involved in high-risk industries such as mining need to know that they are being protected on the job -- and that they can find financial recourse if they are injured.
Source: USA Today, "Two dead in W.Va. coal mine accident." Doug Stanglin, May 13, 2014