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An overview of mining accidents and their impact on victims


Overall, during 2013 41 mining fatalities were reported in the United States which was an increase from 35 reported mining fatalities in 2012. Close to half of the mining fatalities were accounted for by the coal mining industry. Just under half of the fatal mining accidents occurred underground. In addition to mining fatalities, serious mining injuries also result from mining accidents.

During 2013, there were greater than 5,000 mining accident injuries that resulted in lost time away from work. Over a third of the mining accident injuries occurred underground. In total, more than 331,000 work days were lost as a result of the mining accidents. Of reported mine accident injuries, the most frequently reported types of injuries were strains or sprains followed by fractures; lacerations, cuts and punctures; and bruises and contusions. Among reported body parts injured in mine accidents back injuries were the most frequently reported followed by injuries to fingers and knee injuries. Overall, back injuries resulted in nearly 60,000 missed work days.

Accidents at work can be especially difficult for families and workers. Physical health and economic well being can be threatened unexpected and all at once when a workplace accident occurs. Because of the serious nature of workplace accidents, such as mine accidents, and the impact they have on victims and their families, different options may be available to assist families through the recovery process. In addition, death benefits or wrongful death damages may be available depending on the circumstances of the situation and the nature of the accident.

Workers and families sometimes require protections from unsafe workplaces. To that end, protections are available to help try to keep workplaces safe, however, when a worker has been injured or otherwise harmed, they need protections available to them that will assist with medical expenses, lost wages and the process of recovery.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "NIOSH Mining," Accessed Oct. 19, 2015

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