The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration is increasing inspections after three miners were killed in one day in workplace accidents in three separate states. In one of the incidents, a Virginia worker was killed when a quarry collapsed, burying him in sand and dust. The agency plans to focus its inspection on violations frequently associated with mining deaths. This could mean stricter regulation enforcement at mining sites in New York and around the country.
The plant managers and fire department in Louden County do not know what caused the Virginia collapse. The investigation is expected to take up to several months, and the MHSA will issue a report upon completion. An MHSA official expressed concern, noting that three miners being killed in one day is an occurrence that has not happened since 2002. In addition to cracking down during inspections, the MHSA is planning to increase its education and outreach efforts. Federal inspectors will talk to workers and managers about fatality risks in hopes of preventing more fatal accidents.
After an on-the-job accident, injured workers may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. The families of those who were killed may also be eligible to file a claim for death benefits. Workers' compensation is a type of insurance that is designed to cover medical bills, wage losses and other costs after a workplace accident, and most employers are required by state law to carry it.
A worker does not need to prove who is at fault when filing a workers' compensation claim. Injured workers must seek treatment and file a claim within the time frame required by law. An attorney who has experience with these matters may be able to provide assistance throughout the process.