This week’s news of the death of a man working in the Mountain Laurel mine is Sharples may not come as a surprise, but it will still come as a shock. If you have a family member working in the mines, you know it could have been them.
While any workplace has its risks, coal mines are especially hazardous. This event marks the sixth death in West Virginia mines this year and the 27th since 2016.
Why do mining accidents happen?
Mining accidents can happen for several reasons. This latest was due to the vehicle the person was traveling in crashing. Here are some other dangers that coal miners face:
- Collapses: Digging under the ground destabilizes it. If adequate support is not in place, collapse can crush you or suffocate you.
- Explosions: You could be injured if adequate precautions are not in place during controlled blasting. Or you could be harmed by a methane or coal dust explosion.
- Long-term health problems: Back problems and lung problems can last far longer than your mining career.
Despite the dangers of mining being well known, companies continue to put the safety of their employees at risk.
According to the Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (FMSHA), the Mountain Laurel mine owners violated regulations over 2,000 times in the five years ending May 2019. They are certainly not the only company where the FMSHA has found faults.
No one should suffer a serious injury or die at work. When your loved one leaves the house to work in a mine, they are doing it to support you. If a mining accident makes that impossible, you need to claim to ensure you do not suffer financially as a consequence.