While last year was a record in terms of being the safest year in mining history, this year is not starting off as well as in the first three weeks there were three deaths in separate mining accidents.
“In just the first three weeks of 2016, and after the safest year in mining history, the coal industry has experienced three fatalities in three separate mining accidents, the highest number of coal accidents to occur in the same time period since January 2006,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health, Joseph A. Main.
• On Jan. 4, a 53-year-old miner died when he became entangled in a moving underground conveyor in West Virginia
• On Jan. 16, a 31-year-old miner died when falling material pinned the victim to the mine floor in Pennsylvania
• On Jan. 19, a 36-year-old miner died when he became pinned between a continuous mining machine and a coal rib in Kentucky
“In light of declining coal market conditions, we all need to be mindful that effective safety and health protections that safeguard our nation’s coal miners need to be in place every day at every mine in the country,” he said.
Along those lines, the Mine Safety and Health Administration is going to increase its targeted enforcement, education and outreach efforts in response to the mining fatalities that have occurred so far this year.