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What rights do miners have under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977?

On Behalf of | Aug 12, 2021 | Coal Miners |

Every year many young men and women start their careers in the coal mines of Alabama. When embarking on a career with many inherent dangers, it is important to be aware of your rights. 

The Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, commonly known simply as “the Mine Act,” is the legislation that empowers and directs the activities of the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). The federal government has gone through great lengths to protect coal miners and every miner should know the rights afforded them under the Mine Act. 

3 important rights every miner should know they have

Here are three main rights that the Mine Act gives miners:

  1. The ability to file a complaint: Every miner has a right to file a complaint if they feel that there are health or safety violations taking place. The Mine Act has also given miners the right to participate in hearings, proceedings and investigations about safety issues.
  2. A job transfer for medical reasons: If a medical check shows that a miner has job-related health issues, such as black lung disease, they have the right to medical examinations and a possible transfer to a position that will not further harm their health.
  3. A right to refuse or withdraw from a job assignment: If a worker believes that the working conditions are not safe, every miner has the right to remove themselves from the unsafe condition or to refuse to work. 

These three basic rights are afforded to each and every miner. It is important to know that you have the right to not be exposed to unsafe or unhealthy work conditions. Despite these rights, abuses abound — and miners do get hurt as a result. If you were injured working in a mine or your loved one was hurt or killed, take the necessary steps to assert a claim for compensation. 

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