Working as a miner can be very dangerous. The Mine Safety and Health Administration, a division of the United States Department of Labor, is tasked with providing miners in Pennsylvania and the rest of the nation with safe workplaces.
The MSHA was implemented under the Mine Act of 1977. Its primary responsibility is to evaluate every mine in the United States to make sure that it is in compliance with current mine regulations. Legislation pertaining to the health and safety of miners can be dated back to the United States Bureau of Mines in 1910, which conducted research on how to prevent mine deaths. At the time, the death toll for miners was approximately 3,000 annually.The Coal Mine Health and Safety Act was enacted in response to the 1968 coal explosion that occurred in Farmington, West Virginia, and resulted in 78 verified deaths. In the year that the act was implemented, coal mining accidents had resulted in 311 deaths. The number of deaths dropped to its lowest point in 2016, during which only 12 people were killed as a result of coal mining accidents.
MSHA’s achievement of the safest year in mining history was the result of a complete restructuring of operations. In 2009, there was a backlog of 80,000 contested citations and violations. The number fell to nearly 40,000 in 2010, and in 2016, there were just 18,000 on record. A focus was also placed on improving compliance and guidance.
Individuals who are injured as a result of performing their job duties may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. They may also want to be represented by an attorney who can advise of them of their legal options. The attorney may assist with the filing of an initial claim and with appealing one that has been disputed or denied.