The coal mining profession stands as a cornerstone of the nation. However, it is a dangerous industry where many workers suffer catastrophic injuries every year. Although the total number of deaths related to coal mining reached a record low in 2016, it suddenly surged back up in 2017. While employers have made progress, there is still much work to do to prevent any deaths whatsoever in the industry.
Any coal miners who sustained injuries over the course of the job should seek out a workers’ comp claim to recover damages. However, prevention is always the most preferable course of action, which is why employees and employers alike need to remain cognizant of the most common types of injuries that occur in this field.
Accidents related to blasting
All coal mines rely on explosives to break apart rocks and clear pathways. These explosions require the proper protocol or else several ways exist for workers to suffer injuries. The explosion can occur prematurely when miners are not yet out of the way of danger. It is also possible for workers to still remain in the vicinity where they get struck by flying rocks. One particularly dangerous occurrence happens when the explosion results in seismicity that compromises the entire integrity of the mine, which most often occurs in mines located near fault lines.
Consecutive coal dust and methane explosions
This type of explosion was unfortunately prevalent over a century ago. While advancements have reduced its rate of occurrence, it still happens from time to time. Amongst the coal layers, methane becomes trapped, and a malfunction with the mechanical equipment can ignite the area. This can trigger consecutive coal dust explosions, trapping workers beneath the earth. Safety lamps also pose a risk of this happening, which is why site supervisors need to make sure an area is clear of methane before proceeding.