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.


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

[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.

National Coal Association Counsel, Charles Farrington. Testimony, Senate Subcommittee on Mines and Mining.

In recent years the accident record in the bituminous coal industry has continued to improve. The bituminous coal industry is to be congratulated on its accomplishments to date; given the opportunity, it will make further progress. This is a matter of constant education and not one that requires arbitrary legislation.

National Coal Association Counsel, Charles Farrington. Testimony, Senate Subcommittee on Mines and Mining.

Now, if there is a real purpose to be accomplished by what you ask here from a safety standpoint, then you have my vote. But if the only purpose is to set up something that you say is going to be another police force, like they had in Germany and Russia, to inspect other policemen…then I say we are wasting our time.

Representative Thomas Werdel (R-CA), who would run as Vice-President of the States’ Rights Party in 1956. House Committee on Education and Labor.

There are on an average 1,000 men who lose their lives in the coal mines annually. Ninety percent of the men lose their lives in the ordinary accidents, accidents in which the individual plays an important role usually. The other 10 percent lose their lives as a result of what we call mine disasters. Those disasters are preventable. They are almost in every case not caused by some action of the individual workman.

James Hyslop, president of the Hanna Coal company.


Backgrounders & Briefs

2011 Death on the Job

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


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.