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West Virginia Coal Mining Accident Attorney

Even though their work is considered risky, coal miners are entitled to a safe working environment. Mine operators are required to ensure not only safety, but also that qualified individuals are sent into the mines to work. Falling short in any way can have catastrophic consequences. Hardworking professionals could suffer career-ending injuries. Families could be left grieving the loss of a loved one and primary wage earner.

You have options if injuries or the death of a loved one in a coal mining accident changed your life. Call the West Virginia coal mining accident lawyers at the Manchin Injury Law Group by dialing (304) 367-1862 for a free consultation.

West Virginia Coal Mine Injury Attorney

The moment they take on a coal mining accident case on behalf of workers and families, the attorneys at the Manchin Injury Law Group remain at their side throughout the legal process. If you have suffered losses at the hands of negligent mine operators, we can help.

Our lawyers represent West Virginia residents injured or killed in the following types of coal mining accidents:

  • Coal stockpile, roof or longwall shield collapses
  • Mine shuttle car accidents
  • Accidents due to faulty mining equipment, roof holders and tools manufactured by third parties
  • Accidents due to lack of safety equipment
  • Accidents due to belt lines with insufficient shut-offs
  • Methane explosions
  • Accidents involving silica or coal dust
  • Exposure to pinch points with mobile conveyor units

Adhering to Mine Safety and Health Regulations (MSHR) is vital to ensure the safety of coal mine workers. Failure to provide expert training to one worker puts the whole team at risk. Any deviation from MSHR or training standards can result in injury or death. In a split-second, a family is left grieving and fearful of an uncertain future.

The Employer’s Duty to Ensure Coal Miners’ Safety

Almost one-third of the electricity produced in the United States today comes from coal. The work coal miners perform helps keep the lights on and produces the steel that makes so much of our buildings and important structures possible. Coal miners deserve to have a workplace that is as safe as possible, and employers have a responsibility to take all reasonable precautions to keep their employees safe.

A Dangerous Occupation

As a coal miner, you understand the risks involved in the work you do. In 2017, there were 15 deaths in coal mining facilities in the United States, 8 of those deaths occurred in West Virginia. These accidents may come from dozer operations, being pinned by machinery, having large rocks strike, or many other causes.

Death is not the only danger faced. Injuries, some serious, are not uncommon for coal miners. While you may take every precaution to avoid accident and injury, sometimes the problem is beyond your control.

Your Rights as a Miner

Miners have a unique profession that creates a bond among those who work in it. Miners look out for each other, knowing that coming home safely requires everyone to do their part for safety. As a miner you have a right to expect that your employer will take your safety as seriously as you and your fellow miners do.

Among other rights granted under the 1977 Mine Act and the 2006 MINER Act are:

  • The right to file a complaint over safety violations
  • The right to participate in proceedings under the Act
  • A right to a medical evaluation and transfer to another location because of exposure to toxic substances
  • A right to withdraw from the mine if you have not received the proper training
  • A right to refuse to work in unsafe conditions if the employer will not address the situation

Exercising these rights is good for the coal mining industry. It keeps you and your fellow miners safe, which is the most important concern in the industry.

How to File a Report for Safety Violations

It is not difficult to file a report about safety violations at your workplace. The report can even be filed anonymously if you prefer. There are two main ways to file a report:

Call the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) hotline at 1-800-746-1553. This is the best way to file a report if the hazard is in imminent danger of causing a serious accident, injury, or fatality.

Visit the Hazardous Condition Complaint site and fill out a complaint online. This can also be done with or without providing your personal information. The MSHA does keep your information confidential if you choose to provide your information along with the report. The site estimates it takes about 12 minutes to fill out the entire form and doing so may save your life or the lives of others you work with.

A Duty of Care

Every miner should take advantage of the opportunity to report any dangerous situation that is not addressed by your employer. The employer has a duty to ensure their mining locations are operated with the highest standards of safety. Even with careful safety standards in place, accidents can happen, but when an employer is negligent about safety, it puts everyone at risk.

Employers assume responsibility for taking reasonable safety precautions when they hire people to work in their mines. In West Virginia, the importance of coal mining is well understood. The importance of meeting the responsibility to ensure the safety of miners must be understood and enforced just as well.

Free Consultation — Contact Us Today

For more information or to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced Fairmont coal mining accident attorney, please contact us at (304) 367-1862.