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Injured mine worker blames defective machine

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Coal mining is an integral part of the fabric of West Virginia employment. Each day, as numerous workers descend into the mines of West Virginia, they place their lives in danger of injury, and even death.

According to the West Virginia Record, a Kanawha County, West Virginia, man has brought a lawsuit against the manufacturer of mining equipment. The lawsuit came about following a tragic coal mining workplace accident, in which the man’s hand was crushed by a machine used for roof bolting. The complaint filed in circuit court alleges that the controls on the machine were backward, which caused the man’s injury.

The lawsuit names multiple companies in an action for negligence, and the manufacturer of the equipment for negligent design, negligent manufacture, negligent distribution and strict product liability.

West Virginia coal mining injury statistics

Each year the West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training produces a statistical report, dedicated, in part, to producing injury statistics related to mining.

The report indicates that in 2012, reported mining injuries accounted for nearly 20,000 days of lost work, with each reported injury resulting in nearly one month of time off, on average. General laborers are at the highest risk of injury, accounting for 137 of the 683 injuries in 2012. Statistics indicate that workers with less experience are at a higher risk of injury, however, workers with between five and 10 years of experience had nearly the same number of injuries as workers with between one and three years of experience. Interestingly, workers with over 40 years’ experience suffered injuries at the same rate as those who were inexperienced.

Underground mine work proved to be more dangerous than surface or quarry mine work, and tipple or preparation plant work, with more than half of the reported injuries happening in underground mines. Of the seven deaths reported in 2012, six took place in deep mine work. Deep mine work was also responsible for the vast majority of reported injuries.

Mining machinery blamed for the majority of mining deaths

Injuries caused by machinery accounted for the third-highest cause of injury, after those caused by reaching, lifting, pushing, bending, or pulling, and those caused by stumbling, tripping, falling and slipping. Of the seven men who lost their lives in 2012 due to coal mining injuries, machinery-related accidents accounted for four of them.

West Virginia law requires that those seeking to bring a lawsuit for a personal injury action must do so within two years. A two-year limitation also applies for a case for product liability. If you, or someone you know was injured in a mining accident, due to the negligence of another person, or a defective machine or product, time is of the essence. Consult with an experienced personal injury today to protect your rights, and help attain the best possible recovery.