Mining is one of the nation’s most dangerous jobs. Since 1900, 104,722 Americans have died in coal mining accidents (23,608 in non-coal sectors) while hundreds of thousands have died from black lung, an incurable lung disease brought on by consistent inhalation of coal dust. The first federal mine safety law was passed in 1910, and the government has slowly added new laws every few decades since, usually in the wake of disaster. In 1977, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) was created to promulgate, monitor and enforce safety regulations.
Cry Wolf Quotes
Federal policing of coal-mine operations, is wrong in principal; and if, as we believe it, it is certainly contrary to the spirit of our form of government and probably contrary to the letter of our constitution.
[This bill is] “galloping socialism in one of its purest forms. [It is] “founded on sensationalism and irresponsibility, nurtured on emotionalism and passed…with total disregard of proven medical facts.
Legislation cannot remedy the evils which result from the perversity of human nature.
[The bill will] Not strike at the fundamental cause of accidents, which in the main is the carelessness on the part of men, cured only by education.
Related Laws and Rules
- Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969
- Coal Mine Safety Act of 1952
- Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act (MINER)
- Mine Safety Act of 1910
- Mine Safety Act of 1941
- Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977
- Mine Safety Code of 1946-47
- Robert C. Byrd Mine Safety and Health Act
- Safety and Health Improvement and Regulatory Reform Act of 1995
- Occupational Health and Safety Regulation in the Coal Mining Industry: Public Health at the Workplace (Subscription Required)
- Underground Coal Mining Accidents and Government Enforcement of Safety Regulations
Fatality Rates and Regulatory Policies in Bituminous Coal Mining, United States, 1959-1981
This study looks a coal mining deaths in the decade leading up to the game-changing Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969, and then examines what happened in the decade after passage. The key take way: "For the period from 1950 to 1969, there was no decline in fatality rates among underground miners. For the period from 1970 to 1980, there was a significant decline in fatality rates."