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

We also endure a Mine Safety and Health Administration that seeks power over coal miners versus improving their safety and their health. As someone who has overseen the mining of more coal than anyone else in the history of central Appalachia, I know that the safety and health of coal miners is my most important job. I don’t need Washington politicians to tell me that, and neither do you. But I also know — I also know Washington and state politicians have no idea how to improve miner safety. The very idea that they care more about coal miner safety than we do is as silly as global warming.

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Massey CEO Don Blankenship’s speech at his anti-union Labor Day rally.
09/07/2009 | Full Details | Law(s): General: Mine Safety

[99 percent of mining accidents] are due absolutely to the carelessness or willful negligence of the men employed in them [sic].

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Industry publication Coal Trade Bulletin.
05/01/1905 | Full Details | Law(s): Mine Safety Act of 1910

Obviously, I don't want to speculate, but either something went wrong from a natural/unnatural manner that was not foreseeable by us or human beings or somebody made a mistake or something.

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Don Blankenship, Massey CEO. West Virginia Gazette.

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.

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.