Winner of 33 national journalism awards including the Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Awards,
APEX Grand Awards; National Press Club award, Newsletter Publishers Foundation Awards; Magnum Opus Awards.
SIPA credentialed. A member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.

Current Issue: Vol. 22, No. 14 & 15 | September 15, 2015

  • Accidents:
    • Miner has arm torn off by roof drill at Paramont Deep Mine #25 (311)
    • Foreman severely injured in conveyor incident at Subtropolis Mine (313)
    • Two coal miners injured by arc-flash gases in Kingston No1 (313)
    • Electrician caught under pipe at Cessford Construction Dredge (314)
    • McElroy Mine reports two personnel-carrier collisions in three days (314)
    • Driller sustains neck fracture at Mineral Ridge Gold Mine (315)
  • Discrimination: Miner over-exposed to ammonia gas at Veris Gold wins discrimination claim (316)
  • Fatalities:
    • Miner killed at Onton #9 was volunteer firefighter (317)
    • Roof-safety oversight found lacking in fatal ground fall at Fletcher Mine (318)
    • Roof fall death at Heilwood Mine blamed on wire-mesh handling method (320)
  • Horns and Backup Alarms: Horns must be functioning at all times on equipment (322)
  • Injunctions: Injunction granted where Kentucky mine owner threatened MSHA inspector (323)
  • Inspections:
    • Judge upholds specially-assessed penalty for delaying MSHA inspection (323)
    • “Company outside” was not a warning of MSHA’s impending inspection at Ken American Mine (324)
  • Private Suits: Farmington Mine disaster families seek to reopen lawsuit claiming withheld evidence (325)
  • Significant and Substantial: Commission remands case for additional S&S and unwarrantable analysis (326)
  • Withdrawal Orders: MSHA’s authority under ยง103(j) limited to rescue and recovery work (328)
  • Review Commission Orders and ALJ Decisions (330)

Single issues of Mine Safety and Health News are available for purchase for $30. We accept Visa, Master Card and Discover Card. You may request a copy by emailing us at: MineSafety@aol.com. Yearly subscriptions are available for $625/yr. Corporate discounts allowing copying rights for entire companies are available.

MSHA hotline for immediately reportable accidents, CPR for any reason, imminent danger or hazardous conditions: 800-746-1553 (call within 15 minutes of accident)

Recent Posts

Queensland Orders “Urgent Investigation” on Black Lung

Four cases of black lung disease have been found in Queensland miners in Australia, and there is an outcry for an “urgent investigation.”

I had to look twice to make sure I read that right.

Compare this national outcry in Australia to the utter silence in the United States where 701 miners were reported to MSHA with black lung in the last five years.

Four cases in Australia = national outcry.

Seven hundred one cases in the U.S. = silence.

As Australian leaders point out, everyone of these cases was preventable, and it’s obvious in Australia that every life counts.

Compare the Queensland numbers to Alpha Natural Resource’s Paramont Coal Co. Virginia LLC. That company reported a total of 122 cases on black lung cases in the last five years. Paramont’s Deep Mine #26 alone reported 33 cases. The company’s Deep Mine 41 reported 31 cases and its Deep Mine #25 reported 29 cases.

But here in the U.S. we have no “urgent investigations.”

We have no investigations.

No operator is paying any price for 701 miners with this disease — at least not enough to ensure that this preventable disease doesn’t happen.

Blame can be shared in many corners. Operators fail to have adequate dust controls, and miners are afraid or simply won’t call inspectors. Some judges at the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission slap small fines where MSHA does find a violation, with judges claiming that one case of over exposure won’t cause black lung. Meanwhile, government records, where we know there is under-reporting, show cases of black lung in these very mines, and something very wrong.

While people can claim that “all lives matter,” this just isn’t the case with our nation’s miners. The black lung numbers, coupled with the complete and total lack of a national outcry, is proof that for those 701 who mined the coal that we need for all parts of our national infrastructure, their lives don’t matter.

For the story on the Queensland’s miners, click this link. Black Lung in Queensland

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