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Federal mine administration says safety, culture improving

As many of our West Virginia readers know, some personally, mining continues to be a dangerous profession. Although advances in technology and safety have made the vocation more safe than ever before, there are still many incidents, including in coal mining accidents, in which workers are injured.

Last month, the head of the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration, Joe Main, visited West Virginia to report on the state of mining in America. He says that mine safety is markedly better than it was just a few years ago. However, it is far from being 100 percent safe.

In 2013, for example, there were multiple coal mining deaths across the country in nine different states. West Virginia had the most of any state; six people died in coal mining accidents here last year. Many of the fatalities around the country were due to equipment issues, Main said, particularly powered haulage equipment. This contrasts to decades past, when many mining deaths were attributed to roof falls. This is hardly an issue these days, Main said, due to technological improvements.

It seems logical to suggest that mine safety will continue to improve as the years go on. Coal miners, however, are still subjected to conditions more dangerous than workers in many other industries. As a result, for as long as people are going down into the mines, there will be injuries -- many of which can have long-term and permanent consequences. People who suffer injury or illness as a result of working in a coal mine can meet with attorneys experienced in cases involving coal mining injuries.

Source: The Coal Valley News, "Federal Chief says mine safety improving," George Hohmann, Feb. 6, 2014

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