Mining will likely always be a high-risk industry regardless of the safety and health officials’ efforts to limit injury risks. Stricter protocols and legislation, along with improved equipment safety, have brought about a drop in the fatality rate in the mining industry. However, coal mine accidents continue to cause injuries to workers in West Virginia. One of the most significant hazards in mining that continues to affect coal miners despite legally enforced measures is dust.
Dust causes a lung disease known as miner’s lung, or black lung, that develops over time from dust exposure. Excessive noise is another constant hazard that causes progressive damage. Even if workers get used to excessive noise, damage occurs, which can cause permanent hearing loss, tinnitus, sleep disturbances and concentration problems. Many mineworkers develop musculoskeletal disorders that cause lower back, neck, shoulders, knees and arm pain.
Other hazards that receive significant attention from safety authorities involve traumatic injuries caused by powered haulage, machinery, electricity and slip-and-fall accidents. Disaster prevention training is crucial to prevent occurrences of fires, explosions, flooding and ground failure. Reportedly, the mining industry in the U.S. has the highest fatality rate, and 50% of fatalities are caused by ground failure.
When lives are lost in coal mine accidents in West Virginia, surviving family members might have questions about their rights to compensation. An attorney with extensive experience in personal injury and mining accidents can provide the answers. With the support and guidance of legal counsel to advocate for them, the chances of receiving financial relief will increase significantly.