Mining safety has come a long way. Before the advent of modern worker safety in the 1960s and 70s, miners were routinely killed in collapses, explosions, and gas leaks. Each mine was responsible for its safety; the result was a patchwork of safety procedures that failed to permeate the throughout the industry. Once the federal government got involved and began disseminating best practices and instilling safety standards, mining deaths have significantly reduced.
Preliminary data from the Mine Safety and Health Administration indicates that 25 people were killed in work-related accidents in mines. That is the lowest number of deaths ever recorded and the second time that deaths dropped below 30. To put that in perspective, there are about 330,000 miners in the U.S. who work in 13,000 different mines.
The agency identified the improved safety procedures that are permeating the market and best practices that are continually being refined and updated by the government and industry leaders. The Department of Labor believes that mining deaths can be further reduced as inspections continue and enforcement mechanisms are levied against violators.
Despite the continued advances in safety, mines remain one the most dangerous places to work. If you suffered a workplace injury, you might want to speak to an attorney. Miners are subject to special workers' compensation rules, therefore, you may want to seek the advice of a lawyer before you pursue compensation. The last thing you or your family needs is for your claim to get denied. An attorney can help ensure that your paperwork is correct, and if it is denied, a lawyer can help you prepare an appeal.
Source: Department of Labor, "U.S. MINING DEATHS DROP TO ANOTHER NEW LOW IN 2016," Staff, January 3, 2017