Methane Gas and Coal Mining

The most serious danger to a coal miner underground is methane gas – the natural by-product of mining coal. There are very specific safety measures that the Federal and State government require to protect miners. And you’ll find that disaster after disaster after disaster, certain things were not done that should have been done to protect the coal miner.

First, improper ventilation – All ventilation in an underground coal mine must be approved by Federal and State inspectors. Proper ventilation keeps the air moving away from the coal miners and takes any methane or noxious gases away from the miners’ face. It’s typically referred to as “out by” work. Skilled workers that know how to keep the air moving in the right direction must perform it.

Second is rock dusting – When there is an explosion in a coal mine, very fine particles of coal dust fly into the air and make more tiny explosion. You get a chain reaction. The explosion gets bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger and it goes throughout the entire mine because it’s just feeding itself. Rock dusting is when limestone is sprayed all over the mine to keep the dust down.

Sprayers and other safety devices protect the miners and must be properly maintained. In several disasters where a machine is not properly maintained, it ignites the spark and starts the chain reaction. But, clearly over the past several decades, we have seen mines not properly maintained whether its wrong equipment, wrong hoses, wrong valves, alarms being shut off. Improper maintenance allows the environment around the coal miners to become dangerous. Then one small, little, complication becomes a disaster.

If you’ve seen any of this in your workplace, you need to call, you need to ask the questions and you need to get answers. Whomever you hire as your lawyer you need to know – what is their experience? And how often have they done this? And have they done it for families like yours?

Those are the tough questions you want to ask and your lawyer should be able to answer them. And I’m just that lawyer and I will answer your questions. Call the Segal Law Firm at 855-344-9100.