Three mining deaths over the weekend brings the total number of mining deaths this year to seventeen, a number which the Obama administration finds disturbing. The administration wants the industry to work on better compliance, though because of the government shutdown, there are fewer inspections. Some believe that the fact that these mining accidents happened over the weekend shows that companies let safety standards slip when they know that inspectors will not be present.
The first accident occurred on Friday, October 4th at CONSOL Energy’s McElroy mine. In that accident, Roger R. King was struck in the head by a chain. He was 62.
The second accident occurred on Saturday at Alliance Coal’s underground mine. Robert Smith, 47, was killed when an underground cart rolled over him and left him pinned beneath it.
The final in this string of accidents occurred on Sunday at MidAmerican Energy’s Bridger Mine. A bulldozer being driven by Chris Stassinos went over a 150 foot highwall.
The Mine Safety and Health Administration is responsible for overseeing mine safety. Mines are one of the most regulated workplaces in America, due to the dangerous nature of the work. Underground mines are to be inspected once a quarter, while surface mines are to be inspected twice yearly. Since the government shutdown however, there have been only targeted inspections of high hazard mines.
What do experts believe should be done to improve the number of mining deaths? First, they call for better compliance with safety regulations. But they also think that mining companies must go beyond this, identifying and analyzing risk on their own in order to improve miner safety.
If you are a miner and have been involved in a mining accident, or if you have lost a loved one in a mining accident, the mining accident attorneys at Kirkendall Dwyer LLP can help. Miners place themselves in physical danger at the workplace everyday, and mining companies are much more interested in maximizing profits than ensuring worker safety. Our attorneys can make sure you receive compensation for your accident, and that the right parties are held accountable. Contact us today to discuss your legal options. We work on a contingent fee basis, so we don’t get paid until we recover compensation for you. You have nothing to lose; contact us today.
Source: The Charleston Gazette