Generations of people have worked in coal mines in West Virginia. Over the years, safety regulators have developed techniques to mitigate the threat of explosions caused by methane gas, coal dust or both. Mine operators and employees must exercise constant vigilance against these threats by following safety procedures to address methane and coal dust.
Many West Virginia miners have to deal with hazardous situations on a daily basis. The Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training reported that one man died in a coal mining accident that occurred in Barbour County on Feb. 6. The accident took place at around 4 a.m. at the Sentinel mine operated by Wolf Run Mining LLC.
In 2017, there were 15 coal mining deaths in the U.S., with eight fatalities occurring in West Virginia alone. Kentucky, Alabama, Colorado, Montana, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming were the other states that contributed to the total. Compared to this, 2016 saw a record low of eight deaths.
Workers in West Virginia and other mining states that are exposed to respirable crystalline silica dust may want to know more about silicosis and the risks it poses. Since exposure to crystalline silica may cause progressive and disabling lung damage, individuals that work in environments where this abrasive blasting agent is used may want to take steps to mitigate the danger.
In West Virginia, many people are employed to work in and around coal mines. Unfortunately, coal mining work can be dangerous, resulting in injuries and fatalities. In some cases, coal mine roofs that are not supported correctly may collapse, trapping workers below. If you have been injured in a coal mine accident or your loved one has been killed, you might need to understand how you might handle your case.
As of the beginning of August, 10 coal miner deaths had been reported around the country, five of which occurred in West Virginia mines. This number has already passed the record low of eight coal miner fatalities that occurred in 2016. The spike in fatalities has the United Mine Workers of America saying that the federal mine safety agency is not doing enough to prevent accidents.
Coal miners in West Virginia and elsewhere are seeing production in the industry increase. However, along with increased production, miners are also experiencing an increased number of serious workplace injuries on the job, including five fatalities in the state from January to August 2017.
The coal industry in West Virginia has been hit particularly hard due to a slowdown in mining. As a result, lawmakers in the state considered scaling back the number of mine inspections. While they backed off due to criticism, other Appalachian coal states such as Kentucky have passed laws that cut back on the number of mandatory safety inspections.