Recent statistics from the Department of Labor show a disturbing figure for industrial workers across the United States. Fatal accidents in the mining industry increased in 2013, according to the DOL. Last year, 42 miners were killed in work accidents, compared to 36 in the previous year.
A majority of the increase in mining fatalities occurred during the final quarter of 2013 when comparing statistics to the previous year. The increase in mining deaths was highlighted after three coal miners were killed in three consecutive days in October. The death of three coal miners in a total of three days had not happened in a decade.
There are many hazards in the coal mining industry that put workers at risk for suffering a fatal injury. Accidents involving power hauling equipment and machinery accounted for the most mining accidents last year.
While there are many safety issues coal miners face, proper safety precautions can help prevent coal mining accidents. Many accidents are caused by inadequate ventilation and not controlling the roofs for underground mines. Failing to keep these work areas safe and free from hazards puts workers at risk for being injured or killed in an accident.
Coal mining accidents and other industrial accidents can result in very serious injuries and fatalities. Workers should not have to be worried about making it out alive when working in underground mines and other hazardous areas. There are agencies and groups that investigate unsafe working conditions to try and prevent accidents and injuries in the workplace. However, these agencies are often lack funding and staff so they have a difficult time inspecting and enforcing safety rules.
Hopefully federal agencies and safety groups will use the new fatal coal mining accident statistics to raise more awareness to the dangers of coal mining and take steps to improve workplace safety sooner rather than later.
Source: Think Progress, “Workplace Deaths Among Miners Rose In 2013,” Bryce Covert, Jan. 7, 2014