For most individuals, the workplace is how we maintain a livable income. Whether this is through an office job, construction, mining or factory work, employees across the nation likely face known and unknown risks and dangers in any and all types of work environments. Even if a position does not have obvious risks, the unfortunate reality is that all workers could endure serious harms in the event of a workplace accident.
The mining industry is important to residents in West Virginia and nearby states. Because residents in these states tend to work in this industry, the dangers and risks associated with mining are likely well known. Even more so, miners are also aware of the various health and safety steps that have been taken on the state and federal level to ensure the safety and well-being of miners. Unfortunately, these safety measures are not always taken or adequately applied, resulting in serious and fatal mining accidents.
Going to work is a very routine activity for residents in West Virginia and elsewhere. While, at times, it can feel like a monotonous act for some employees, some workers in certain industries are always alive and alert when they enter the work environment. Because some industries pose various risk and dangers to employees, these workers are likely to enter the workplace with their safety in mind. Although certain jobs are regulated by the state and federal government to ensure health and safety guidelines are followed, this does not always mean they are complied with. Thus, workplace accidents could be the result of negligence by an employer or a supervisor.
According to federal safety officials, U.S. coal mining fatalities have increased substantially compared to last year's figures. Furthermore, officials say that the newer the worker, the more vulnerable he or she will be to getting into a fatal accident.
In 1970, the United States government signed into law the Occupational Health and Safety Act, or the OSH Act, designed to help protect Americans in the workplace. At the same time, it created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, commonly called OSHA. Before OSHA, American workers were often subjected to dangerous and hazardous conditions that could lead to serious injuries, illness and in many cases, death.
While some jobs are inherently more dangerous than others, any worker in West Virginia, whether they are miners or executives, could possibly be injured on the job. And, sometimes, these injuries are not the fault of the employer or the employee. In West Virginia and nationwide, if a person is injured on the job due to some act of a third party, who was not the injured worker or the worker's employer, it may be possible to bring a lawsuit against that party.