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

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.

More money could be available for worker safety and health if we cut back on bureaucratic administration, because an OSHA/MSHA merger would end duplicative costs, duplicative employees and duplicative actions.

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Patrick Murphy, administrative assistant to Representative Cass Ballenger(R-NC). The Salt Lake Tribune.

I’m scared that this provision will add a pretty significant cost. You’re going to see a lot of small guys just close up shop.

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Bill K. Caylor, president of the Kentucky Coal association. International Herald Tribune.

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

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.