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Employer violation caused fatal West Virginia coalmine accident


Following incidents in the workplace, it is important that proper investigation is conducted. This could help explain the cause of an accident. Furthermore, employers can make the necessary health and safety changes in order to prevent future events from occurring. While making changes following a workplace accident is crucial, employers could still be held accountable for violations in the work place that cause serious work injuries or a fatal work accident.

Following a fatal collapse at a West Virginia coalmine, investigation was conducted to determine the cause of the incident and the death of the two employees. It was determined that Patriot Coal committed several serious violations. Apparently, they failed to ensure that the walls and roof of the mine were properly supported.

Investigators discovered that another accident occurred just three days before the two miners were killed. Because no one was injured in the first incident, it went unreported and workers continued with their day-to-day business. Both accidents had the same cause, something called a "coal burst," where coal in a wall or ceiling collapses violently.

It is important to hold an employer accountable for violations or health and safety issues, as workers and their loved ones could suffer greatly due to a workplace accident. When an employee is injured or killed in the incident, the benefit of workers' compensation could be applied for. This could help offset the costs associated with the accident such as medical bills, funeral costs, lost wages and other damages.

When a workplace accident occurs, employees and their loved ones should understand their options following the incident. The loss of a loved one due to an employer failing to comply with safety regulations can be a very difficult event to cope with. Family members should understand how they can address these issues and seek compensation for their losses and damages.

Source: Fox Business, "State cites Patriot Coal in southern West Virginia mine accident that killed 2 in May," Sep. 29, 2014

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