West Virginia and other Appalachian states that have been the most adversely impacted by the coal industry slump want to lower the number of mine safety inspections that are required each year. The state of Kentucky's action of conducting advisory visits in lieu of some inspections have been met with approval by coal companies. Surviving loved ones of coal miners who have died as a result of workplace accidents disagree with the policy, however.
The Mine Safety and Health Administration is the part of the United States Department of Labor whose purpose is to examine every mine in West Virginia and the rest of the nation four times each year. The MSHA has been working to eliminate illnesses, injuries and death from mining and has been supporting healthy and safe workplaces for American miners since 1978.
Coal mining is not only an arduous occupation, but it has many hazards as well. For these reasons, West Virginia coal miners may be interested in reading an advisory warning issued by the Mine Safety and Health Administration. According to the agency, from the begining of 2010 to Aug. 31, 2016, coal miners throughout the country suffered about 5,700 work-related hand injuries. The agency found that four workplace activities accounted for approximately 4,000 of the reported work-related accidents that resulted in such injuries. These activities were operating non-powered hand tools, handling supplies or material, roof bolting and performing machine maintenance.
Coal mine operators in West Virginia and other states have been under increased scrutiny from the Mine Safety and Health Administration in 2016. The agency handed out 161 citations to U.S. mine operators in July, a 41 percent increase from the prior month when mine operators received 114 citations. The higher citation rate is part of MSHA's impact inspection campaign that was launched in April 2010 in an effort to prevent miner's injuries and fatalities.