Statistics of Coal Mining Accidents
Coal mining can be a dangerous industry. As many people are aware of, especially in West Virginia, mining disasters occur killing and injuring many employees. The Sago Mine disaster on January 2, 2006 near Buckhannon trapped thirteen miners underground, killing twelve of them. This was the worst disaster to occur in West Virginia before another tragic mining disaster occurred at the Upper Big Branch Mine in 2010, which killed twenty-nine miners. Even though one man survived the Sago Mine disaster, his survival was accompanied by life changing injuries. Each of these West Virginia mining disasters resulted in lost lives and broken families. In Lincoln, Pennsylvania at Quecreek Mine in 2002, nine miners were trapped underground for over seventy-seven hours. Thankfully, all nine miners were rescued. If you are a miner lucky enough to survive your career as a miner, you are still at high risk for mining-related diseased. Deep coal mining health risks include carbon monoxide poisoning, lung cancer, respiratory disease, COPD, and hypertension. Surface mining health risks are very similar to deep coal mining risks.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the total nonfatal injury and illness incidence rates in 2008 were as follows: total private industry: 3.9 cases per 100 full-time workers, coal mining: 4.4 per 100 full-time workers, bituminous coal underground mining: 6.5 per 100 full-time workers, bituminous coal and lignite surface mining: 2.0 per 100 full time workers, and anthracite mining: 6.2 per 100 full-time workers. The rates of injuries and illnesses with days away from work in 2008 are as follows: total private industry: 1.1 cases per 100 full-time workers, coal mining: 2.6 per 100 full time workers, bituminous coal underground mining: 3.9 per 100 full- time workers, bituminous coal and lignite surface mining: 1.2 per 100 full-time workers, and anthracite mining: 4.7 per 100 full-time workers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, since 1980, the United States has had 15 mining accidents which resulted in fatalities, almost all being caused by fire or explosion. Four of these accidents since 1980 occurred in West Virginia.
If you or a loved one have been injured due to guidelines and safety standards not being met, contact an experienced attorney, like a personal injury lawyer Morgantown, WV trusts, for assistance evaluating your case. Mine operators have a responsibility to provide their workers with proper training, proper equipment, and a safe work environment. When they fail to do so, accidents, injuries, and even death occur. Common mine accidents include mine collapses, gas explosions, flooding, dust explosions, exposure to chemicals, and malfunctioning equipment. Our attorneys will work diligently to investigate what went wrong, who is liable, and the damages you are likely to be rewarded. Damages for accident cases usually include monetary compensation for medical bills, future medical expenses, and no longer being able to live your life the way you did before the injury occurred.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Adams Legal Group, PLLC for their insight into coal mining accidents.