The dangers faced by coal miners in West Virginia was highlighted again recently when the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) announced that they issued four coal mines in the state with citations during September impact inspections, according to WVNS-TV. The citations follow news that the Brody Mine in Boone County was also issued with three citations in relation to a coal outburst that killed two miners there earlier this year.
Citations against four mines
The MSHA conducted impact inspections at nine coal mines in September, four of which were in West Virginia. In total, 40 citations were issued to the four West Virginia mines, eight each to three mines in Taylor County, Barbour County, and Boone County, and 16 citations to a single mine in Logan County.
Since 2010, the MSHA has issued over 13,000 citations during over 800 impact inspections that were started in response to the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster, when 29 miners were killed.
Brody Mine receives three citations
Aside from the citations issued during the MSHA’s impact inspections, the agency also recently announced that the Brody Mine in Boone County where two miners were killed in May has been issued with three citations related to the deadly incident, according to the Charleston Gazette. The agency found that a similar non-fatal accident at the mine had occurred just three days prior and only 100 feet from where the fatal coal outburst happened.
However, instead of heeding concerns and warnings by workers in the mine in response to the first accident, the mining company instead installed rib timbers which the MSHA said “are not an accepted prudent engineering practice” to safeguard against an outburst or collapse. Additionally, the company was cited for not reporting the earlier incident to authorities as was required of it by law. An administrator for the MSHA said that while it is impossible to be “100 percent sure,” it is likely that had the mining company reported the earlier accident then the two miners would not have died just three days later.
Coal mine accidents
As the above story shows, coal miners are placed in harm’s way every day in West Virginia because mining companies either refuse or fail to follow important health and safety rules. The countless injuries and fatalities suffered by miners each year in West Virginia mines are testament to the fact that far too many mining companies are continuing to sacrifice the safety of their workers.
Miners are not the only victims of mining accidents as their families are often left having to deal not only with the pain and suffering endured by a loved one, but also with the financial strain caused by medical bills and lost income. Anybody who has been injured in a mine accident should contact a mine injury attorney right away. An attorney with plenty of experience in how mine accident cases are handled can provide the expertise miners and their families need during the difficult and painful time following an accident.