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The high toll of the coal mine industry on its workers

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) describes the coal mining industry as a relatively dangerous one. The federal agency contends that miners have a more substantial likelihood of suffering injuries, falling ill or dying on the job than most other private-sector workers.

BLS published large-scale studies into miners’ propensities to suffer illnesses, injuries or die while performing work-related tasks in both 2007 and then again in 2019. That research captures some of the many dangers that coal miners face. 

How common are illnesses or injuries among miners?

BLS data shows how 10,200 private sector miners suffered nonfatal illnesses and injuries in 2017. At least 2,300 of those were coal ones. Those same statistics show that 4,800 of the 10,200 total miners injured that year ended up missing several days from work. At least 1,400 of those who had to take off work were coal miners. 

What are the fatality rates among coal miners?

The federal agency’s statistics show that 15% of all on-the-job fatalities among miners were in coal mines. These work-related deaths also appear to be on an uptick. There were seven miner fatalities in 2015 compared to 17 in 2017, which is a huge statistical leap.

Which coal miners are most apt to get hurt on the job?

BLS data from 2007 showed how of the 28 coal miner fatalities that occurred that year, 72% involved bituminous coal underground miners. Another 14% of these incidents claimed the lives of bituminous coal and lignite surface miners. The remaining 14% of victims worked in other coal mining sectors.

Data compiled by the BLS in 2008 shows how 77% of the coal miners who suffered nonfatal occupational illnesses or injuries that year worked in the bituminous underground coal mining sector. Another 21% of them worked in the bituminous coal and lignite surface mining one. The remaining 2% of the miners who got hurt that year worked in the anthracite mining industry.

What are your rights following a mining incident?

Mines, obviously, can be unsafe. A sudden deterioration in air quality, a mine collapse, an explosion or other catastrophic event can easily injure or kill. Victims and their families alike should seek immediate representation to protect their legal interests after an accident.

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