Coal industry continues to top list of dangerous places to work

Mining is an integral part of the economy in the United States. The Mine Safety and Health Administration reported in a recent update that there were 116,010 workers in this industry throughout the country during 2014. However, working in this industry is dangerous. Mining jobs recently topped a list of the most dangerous jobs in the United States, along with fishing and logging. Workers in the mining industry face hazards on a daily basis. The United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that "employees in coal mining are more likely to be killed or to incur a non-fatal injury or illness, and their injuries are more likely to be severe than workers in private industry as a whole." In fact, this agency also reports that the rate of fatal injuries within this industry is almost six times the rate of fatal injuries in the entire private industry.

The dangers associated with the coal industry are the result of a variety of factors, including the use of dangerous equipment and materials. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that the following are some of the most common causes of injury in this field:

  • Struck by/caught-in/caught-between accidents. OSHA notes that these hazards are responsible for three of every five on-site fatalities within the oil and gas extraction industry.
  • Explosions and fires. Workers in this industry are exposed to hazardous, flammable gases. These gases can be released and can ignite due to contact with static, open flames, welding tools and cigarettes.
  • Falls. Elevated equipment is often used in these industries.
  • Confined spaces. Work completed within the confined spaces of petroleum storage tanks, reserve pits and other confined spaces are exposed to a variety of safety hazards including flammable gases that could lead to asphyxiation.

These are just a few of the more common causes of accidents. Additional hazards can include vehicle collisions, high pressure lines and machine hazards.

Remedies available to those injured in coal mining accidents

Moving forward with a case against an employer may seem intimidating, but it is important to hold those responsible for accidents accountable. As a result, it is wise to contact an experienced injury lawyer to discuss your case. This legal professional will work with you, guiding you through the intricacies of the case and helping you and your family to build a case that better ensures a more favorable outcome.