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Miner safety efforts help reduce fatal mine accidents


The coal mining industry is a crucial one in the state of West Virginia. The health and safety of miners are often of great concern. Mining is considered a dangerous and high-risk job that could cause serious and even fatal injuries to miners. This is why proper training and miner safety is important for employers and employees in the mining industry.

A recent report indicated that fatal coal-mining accidents reached an all-time low across the nation in 2014, dropping from 20 fatalities in 2013 to 16 in 2014. This is seen as a huge improvement from the 48 coal mine related deaths in 2010. That year, 29 miners were killed in an explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine.

The lowered rate is owed to more aggressive federal inspections, which have helped target mines that have a pattern of violations. It is also owed to increased safety efforts, which have significantly helped to reduce deadly accidents at mines.

Despite these improvements and reduced fatalities in mines, these types of accidents still occur. Since 2004, 119 coal mine-related deaths have occurred in West Virginia alone. When a miner is injured or killed, a worker or their loved ones could file for workers' compensation. This benefit could cover medical expenses, funeral costs, lost wages and other related damages.

When a workplace accident occurs, the investigation process could help uncover the cause and liability of the incident. This not only assists an injured worker or the loved ones of a killed miner recover benefits to cover related expenses but also helps address health and safety issues with the mine.

Source: USA Today, "U.S. coal-mining deaths hit historic low," Chris Kenning, Jan. 8, 2015

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