Mining has never been a safe industry in which to work. Every miner knows that accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. But new data from the United States Department of Labor and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) indicates that mining is getting a little bit less deadly than it has been in the past, which is good news for miners.

According to the government’s records, there were 24 confirmed mining deaths in 2019 (two more may be added to that tally after a review by MSHA). That’s fewer than ever recorded in the nation’s history. Among coal miners, there were only 11 deaths that year (four each in Kentucky and West Virginia, two in Pennsylvania and one in Illinois) — which was the same number recorded in 2018.

Coal mining, in particular, has become less deadly — at least, on paper. Part of the drop is no doubt due to rising safety standards in the industry, including education campaigns that have aimed to reduce conveyor belt accidents and other common accident sources.

There’s also no doubt, however, that the general decline in demand for coal and the subsequent decline in the industry’s employment, particularly in Appalachia, has also lowered those figures. Coal miners and other types of miners need to remember that a lower death toll should never be confused with a true increase in safety. Catastrophic accidents due to mine collapses, shuttle car accidents, forklift failures and collisions with rock trucks are still a significant danger.

If you or your loved one has been injured in a coal mining accident here in Alabama, you can’t rely on the company to look after your interests. Find out how an attorney can help you get a fair settlement so that you can continue to provide for your family.