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Fatal coal mine accidents lead to increase in safety measures

After the deaths of three coal miners in the month of January, authorities have taken steps to address immediate safety concerns and hopefully reduce the number of accidents. The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration has announced its resolution to provide education and increased enforcement of regulations after a recent string of coal mine accidents. As 11 miners were killed in the entire year in 2015, authorities are startled by the high fatality numbers at the beginning of 2016. 

As West Virginia readers may know, the three January fatalities occurred at three different mines across the country. One man died when a piece of material pinned him down, one died after he was caught in a moving conveyor mechanism and the last one died as he was also pinned between machinery. All of these deaths were likely preventable, substantiating the need for a close examination of current safety standards and procedures. 

Those who work in the mining industry are already at risk for certain injuries. When employed in an inherently dangerous industry, employees should be properly trained to work safely around equipment and repair machinery safely, and should also be taught how to proceed when an emergency situation occurs. It is hoped that increased vigilance from the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration and the cooperation of mine owners will ultimately increase coal mine safety. 

When a West Virginia miner is killed in an accident, he or she should take immediate steps to protect his or her right to a full and fair recovery. Families of those killed while working in a mine also have the right to financial recovery and should seek a legal opinion regarding their claim to compensation. Coal mine accidents are tragic and frightening, but victims and families can have legal support for the aftermath.

Source: businessinsurance.com, "Mine safety agency steps up efforts after deadly January", Gloria Gonzalez, Jan. 25, 2016

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