Posted On: January 15, 2009 by Steven J. Malman

Mine Safety and Health Administration Fines Massey Energy Subsidiary for Violations that Contributed to Truck Driver Sustaining Injuries in a Coal Mining Accident

The Mine Safety and Health Administration has ordered a Massey Energy subsidiary to pay a $180,000 fine for violations that may have led to a worker sustaining injuries during a coal mining accident. The worker suffered neck and head injuries when part of a highwall collapsed and his truck was partially buried.

Richard Stickler, the director of the Mine Safety and Health Administration, says Massey’s subsidiary, Highland Mining, ignored the loose and cracked rock that was over the haul road and did nothing to protect truck drivers at the Freeze Fork Surface Mine. Massey, however, plans to contest the fine. Following the work accident, the truck driver’s injuries were examined at the hospital. He did not need time off from work to recover.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the coal mining industry has a higher incidence rate for illnesses, nonfatal injuries, and deaths than the entire private sector.

In 2006, there were 4,600 work-related injuries and illnesses. Common coal mining injuries:
• Fractures
• Strains and sprains
• Exposure to chemical substances
• Injuries from falling objects, including falling coal

Common causes of coal mining deaths:
• Transportation accidents
• Explosions
• Fires
• Contact with equipment and objects
• Exposure to toxic substances
• Machinery accidents

Coal mining workers that were most likely to get hurt included:
• Transportation workers
• Construction and excavation workers
• Industrial machinery mechanics
• Mine roof bolters

MSHA fines Massey unit $180,000 for W.Va. accident, Forbes, January 15, 2009

Coal Mining Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities in 2006, Bureau of Labor Statistics, June 27, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Mine Safety and Health Administration

County Coal Map Series, Illinois State Geological Survey

Contact the Law Offices of Steven J. Malman & Associates to discuss your workers' injury case. You may be entitled to Illinois workers' compensation benefits from your coal mining accident.

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