We’ve all seen tragic mine stories on the news. What you don’t get to see is what happens to the widows and children of these lost miners after cameras turn off. My job at The Segal Law Firm is to provide protection for the miners’ families and I do that by delving into the state and federal regulations that set the safety guidelines for the coal mines. Often times, these regulations have been broken in some way or another and you need an attorney that understands the rules, so they know where to start looking for answers.
What Type of Mine?
The first thing I’m going to do when I find out a coal miner has been killed in an accident is determine if it happened in a deep mine or a surface mine. The answer to that question is going to affect which state and federal laws were in place to protect them while they were at work. You have to know where it happened so you can begin to look at the very complex set of regulations that are in place to protect the miners.
Training and Licensing
Let’s say it was a deep mine. Well, deep miners are required to have certain specialized training, depending on the job they are doing. Did the miners working around your loved one have the right licensing and task training to be doing the their jobs? If not, you’re a step closer to figuring out why the accident occurred and having the evidence to prove it to a jury or the mining company.
Another place we’re going to look when digging into a case is the equipment that your miner was working on at the time of the accident. Had it been properly maintained, pursuant to federal and state regulations? The equipment in these mines must be maintained and replacement parts have to be a certain caliber. It’s quite possible that the coal company cut corners and we need to find that out as soon as possible.
A Myriad of Regulations
There are several other complicated regulations and rules that cover a coal mine to ensure the protection of the workers. One of the most important is the roof control plan. You can’t just dig a deep coal mine without following certain roof control procedures that must be approved by a regulatory agency before you ever get the first piece of coal out of the mine. We must immediately find out if things were done according to that plan or if rules have in fact been broken.
Sometimes these events occur because a mine was not properly fire bossed. Before every single shift, the mine must be checked by a fire boss. This person is responsible for inspecting the mine and determining what, if any, unsafe conditions exist and what must be repaired before the miners can begin their work. If this procedure wasn’t properly executed, we may have another piece of evidence imperative to your case.
A History of Noncompliance
Last but not least, we want to look at the safety record of the coal mine and its superintendent prior to the miner’s death. Here at The Segal Law Firm, we often find that a mine in which a miner or several miners have been killed has a long history of putting profits ahead of people. They will get caught time and again by federal and state inspectors and will be issued citations for their safety noncompliance. They are given so much time to fix the problem and are then re-inspected. Companies like this, which put safety last on their list and profit at the top, they invariably end up killing or injuring several miners. If you look, you will find a safety record that demonstrates, despite their lip service about how careful they want to be, their dedication to make the almighty dollar over keeping their miners out of harm’s way.
You need a law firm that has experience working with coal mining cases and knows where to look for answers. The Segal Law Firm has that experience and understands the complicated regulations that protect our coal miners. Often times, the widows and family members of the coal miner are in too much distress to call us. That’s okay. We can answer questions for a friend, neighbor or family member. When the time is right, we can sit down with the widow and adult children and guide them onto the right path. We can get them the protection they deserve. Call us today, toll free, at 855-344-9100.