Mine Safety

Mine Safety

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.

Commentary

Massey CEO: "It's (Always) The Government's Fault"

May 20, 2011
US Capitol building

Darrel Issa’s Government Handover

January 05, 2011
Coal Miner

After Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster, Republicans Still Obstructing Progress

October 05, 2010

Cry Wolf Quotes

Such accidents are little short of deliberate suicide. No legislation can reach such cases as this.

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West Virginia’s chief mine inspector, James Paul. 1903.
01/01/1903 | Full Details | Law(s): General: Mine Safety

But, I must say, that training and education in themselves are no panacea for the industry’s accident problem. What, in addition must be done is to find a way to motivate people to think and work safely. All miners must want to observe safety laws, rules, and regulations, and perform their daily task without endangering themselves and their fellow workers.

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Ralph Bailey chairman and chief executive officer of Consolidation Coal Co. on behalf of the National Coal Association and the Bituminous Coal Operators Association, Testimony, House Subcommittee on Labor Standards.

It is but the natural course of mining events that men should be injured and killed by accidents.

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Republican Governor G. W. Atkinson (1896-1901.)
01/09/1901 | Full Details | Law(s): General: Mine Safety

The coal industry accepts its responsibilities for the safe operation of its mines and where regulation achieves greater safety, we have no quarrel. But, where it does not enhance safety, we believe that Federal regulation is misplaced and counterproductive. Rigid, inflexible, thoughtless regulation, no matter how well intended, can have a plainly detrimental effect on achieving a safe, efficient, and productive coal industry. It’s the overregulation and enforcement of the Act as an end in itself that has caused the coal industry most of its problems…

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Ralph Bailey chairman and chief executive officer of Consolidation Coal Co. on behalf of the National Coal Association and the Bituminous Coal Operators Association, Testimony, House Subcommittee on Labor Standards.

Evidence

Backgrounders & Briefs

2011 Death on the Job

The AFL-CIO's annual report about death, illness, and injury at work.

Resources

The Charleston Gazette's blog Coal Tattoo, written by veteran reporter Ken Ward Jr., is a cutting edge blogon the coal industry.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration is the goverment agency responsible for the regulation of America's mines.