West Virginia residents who work in the metal and nonmetal mining industry know how important it is to maintain blasting safety. If certain precautions are not taken, miners can be killed by flyrock, toxic fumes or misfires. In fact, seven miners have been killed by these causes since 2010. Below are some of the best practices that mine operators and miners can take to prevent injury and death.
For starters, the proper storage, transportation and use of explosives should be outlined in the manufacturers’ guideline, and everyone must follow it. The materials should be stored in a clean, dry and orderly area, and workers should use older explosives first. This means rotating the inventory. Damaged, deteriorated or outdated materials should be disposed of with the help of the manufacturer, whether they are detonators, boosters or blasting agents.
In addition, storage areas and blast sites should be properly ventilated. Workers will want to learn the geology of each blast site from the driller. They will also need to utilize technology like face profilers as well as borehole probes to find out about any hazards. Furthermore, miners must review the blast plan before loading explosives. Everyone should be evacuated from the area prior to detonation, and all access routes must be blocked off. One should conduct an inspection after the blast to ensure safe re-entry.
If a worker is injured in a mining accident through no fault of their own, they could seek compensation via a personal injury claim. Unlike filing for workers’ compensation, however, they will need to show that the employer was definitely to blame for their worker injuries. This is where legal counsel could be helpful. An attorney could build up the case with the necessary proof and handle all negotiations for a settlement with the mining company.