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

Legislation cannot remedy the evils which result from the perversity of human nature.

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Industry publication Coal Trade Bulletin.
09/15/1908 | Full Details | Law(s): Mine Safety Act of 1910

Mr. Forbes, a former director of the Bureau of Mines has gone on record as saying that accidents are problems of human failure and that if the Bureau and industry are going to correct these accidents that they have to be attacked through the medium of correction within the human mind, and the human body, and the man has to be made to act safely.

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W. Foster Mullins, Chief Mine Inspector for Virginia, Testimony, House Committee on Education and Labor.

Mr. Ankeny, a former director of the Bureau of Mines, has made the statement publicly that passage of bills would not be expected to reduce the accident rate. Therefore, how can we, in logic or in good conscience, say that we are going to pass…a bill to improve the safety record, when two previous directors of the Bureau of Mines said that passage of laws would not reduce the accident rate?

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W. Foster Mullins, Chief Mine Inspector for Virginia, Testimony, House Committee on Education and Labor.

[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.

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

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.