As a miner, you probably don’t need anyone reminding you of the dangers you face on the job. You stare them head-on every day you clock in and start your shift in the mines.
Virtually all miners have to contend with prolonged exposure to cramped quarters, toxic substances and darkness. Potential dangers posed by heavy equipment and explosives are also a problem all miners face. What you might not be aware of is how much more dangerous some mines work is in comparison with others.
How dangerous is it to work in mines?
The most recent U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data from 2017 reveals that 10,200 miners reported suffering nonfatal injuries or illnesses that year. Nearly one-half of those workers reported such severe injuries or illnesses that they missed several workdays. At least 1,400 of them were coal miners. At least 15% of miners who died in an on-the-job incident were also coal ones.
Do coal miners suffer injuries at a higher rate than all other types of workers do?
Data regarding coal miners’ injury risks are quite limited. The last time BLS compiled a report compiling risk factors coal miners must contend with was in 2007. At least 72% of the 28 miners who died that year worked in underground bituminous coal mines. Another 14% worked in either surface mines or bituminous coal ones. The miners with the third-highest fatality rates were anthracite ones. Miner fatality and injury rates are quite comparable.
Your rights when you suffer injuries working a mining job
As a miner, you enter the mine every day knowing that some inherent dangers are associated with your job.
Alabama law may afford you the right to workers’ compensation benefits for any work-related injury or occupational illness that you suffer in your role as a miner. You may want to familiarize yourself with workers’ compensation laws to see if you’re eligible for benefits and, if so, for what different expenses.