Coal Mine Safety

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Remember Don Blankenship? He’s this guy:

On Wednesday West Virginia station WCHS reported that the former Massey Energy CEO, fresh off a one-year stint in a federal prison for conspiring to commit mine-safety violations in the run-up to the deadliest mining disaster in decades, has filed paperwork to run in next year’s Republican Senate primary.

Here’s a refresher on the Upper Big Branch disaster (60 minues/Anderson Cooper):

I remember looking into how mine safety works back in the day. I was impressed by the intensity with which mine related injuries and disasters were addressed by the regulatory agency. Careful reports prepared, remediation required, all that.

But, apparently, at leas in Illinois, most coal mining injuries are not actually reported:

Two-thirds of injuries and illnesses among Illinois miners aren’t reported to the federal agency that would investigate them, according to a new study from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

… Mines are required to report injuries and illness to the Mine Safety & Health Administration, a branch of the U.S. Department of Labor.

Robert Cohen, a clinical professor of environmental and occupational health sciences at UIC’s School of Public Health, led three researchers who examined mining injuries and illnesses in Illinois between 2001 and 2013. The team found that of the 5,653 cases mine workers reported to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission database, only 34 percent also were reported to federal regulators.

This will all be ancient history when we have shut down all the coal mines. The sooner the better.

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2 thoughts on “Coal Mine Safety

  1. Theres still the need for CO2 producing coal to process metals. Hopefully those mines get on top of worker saftey.
    Theres still the need for CO2 producing concrete too .
    Boiling water by burning coal is primative tech and needs pissing off quick quick.

  2. Coal is not necessary to process metals or make concrete. Any carbon and energy source will do for steel, and any energy source will do for concrete.

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