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Rate of coal mine accidents and illnesses decreasing

A recent report indicated that the number of injuries, deaths and illnesses related to coal mining are declining, which is good news for West Virginia people who are employed in this industry. According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration, the 2016 fiscal year was the safest in mining history. In this year, there were 24 deaths that resulted from coal mine accidents or illnesses, down from 38 the year before.

While this is good news for miners, a lower number of deaths is not an acceptable excuse for complacency regarding mine safety. In September alone, there were four mining deaths, a sign that there is still much work to do regarding the protection of miner health and safety. Every mine owner, operator, manager and worker should share the common goal of zero fatalities. 

One of the most important ways that mining-related deaths and injuries can be prevented is with continued education and safety training. All workers should be adequately prepared for their job, and safety shortcuts and compromises should never be acceptable. If workers do suffer injury or become ill due to coal dust or other hazardous conditions, they would be wise to take steps to protect their rights and interests.

When coal mine accidents impact the physical and financial well-being of a West Virginia worker, it is necessary to seek the assistance of an experienced legal professional. Injured workers have the right to a full and fair recovery, but it can be difficult to secure the support that is needed. By seeking a case evaluation, a person can know the legal options available and move forward with the most appropriate course of action.

Source: harlandaily.com, "Mining deaths, respirable dust samples drop to historic lows", Oct. 17, 2016

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