Working in the mining industry is dangerous, but when you work with people who act in an unsafe manner either because of lack of safety knowledge or disregard to safety measures, that danger is exponentially increased. An accident at the Mountain View Mine in Tucker County, West Virginia, sheds light on how one person's negligent actions might lead to serious consequences for other workers.
The fatal accident occurred in January when a worker was crushed by mining equipment. That worker died in that accident, which was the first fatal coal mining accident in the state. It has been determined that the mine operator was at fault for the incident that led to the man's death. The mine operator didn't secure the coal feeder against motion or have it blocked to prevent motion. It was also found that the mine operator didn't have adequate measures in place to ensure that miners knew proper safety protocol.
There weren't any defects found with the equipment or the man who was killed. He was pinned between the wall and a large machine when the equipment securing the machine failed.
In this case, there wasn't a fine issued by the Mine Safety and Health Administration. It did, however, recommend changes be made to help keep miners safe. Miners are to stay farther away from equipment when it is initially started. The methods of securing equipment have been updated. The company's miners have been trained to reflect these changes.
This finding by the MSHA might bring some comfort to this young miner's family. It won't help them deal with the financial implications of his death. To help with that, they might opt to seek compensation for the 20-year-old man's untimely death if they feel there was negligence on the part of the man's employer.
Source: Charleston Daily Mail, "Report: Operator failure causes mining death" No author given, Jun. 03, 2014