Mine Safety

Safer Union Mines

Mountains & miners deserve better

Studies show that union mines are much safer than non-union mines. A May 2011 report from the John M. Olin Program in Law and Economics at Stanford University found a "substantial and significant decline in traumatic mining injuries and fatalities" at underground mines where the United Mine Workers of America represented workers.

The report found that over two decades there were:

  • between 18 and 33 percent fewer traumatic injuries at union mines, compared to non-union operations;
  • between 27 to 68 percent fewer fatal accidents at union mines (the range in figures accounts for possible statistical variations because of small sample sizes).

 

Need a Lawyer?

If you are a coal miner and need legal representation on a mine safety issue, we suggest you contact:

Wes Addington
Appalachian Citizens Law Center
317 Main Street
Whitesburg, Ky 41858
606-633-3929
aclc@appalachianlawcenter.org

OR

Tony Oppegard
Attorney-At-Law
P.O. Box 22446
Lexington, Ky 40522
859-948-9239
tonyoppegard@gmail.com

Support Mine Safety graphicAbove all else, coal companies should be diligent about the safety of their workers and the conditions inside their mines. Officials responsible for enforcing mine safety laws should do so wihout interference. And elected leaders should strengthen those laws when the need is clearly demonstrated.

Unfortunately, none of this happens as it should.

An examination of 320 coal mine deaths from 1996 to 2005 by Ken Ward Jr. of the Charleston Gazette found that 91 percent of those deaths could be traced to a serious safety violation, including not performing required safety checks, poorly maintained equipment, roof control and ventilation violations, and inadequate training.

sacraficed-forgotten mine safety graphic

The disaster that killed 29 miners at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia in April 2010 reminds us that not enough has changed since Ward's report. Yet legislation to address some of the enforcement issues brought to light by this tragedy is stalled in the U.S. Congress.

KFTC has established this space to provide news, analysis and opinions about mine safety issues. We'll  update the list below as new articles and reports become available.

Letcher County Local Resolution on Black Lung & RECLAIM Act, 2018

In the fall of 2018, the Letcher County Fiscal Court was among nearly a dozen local governments to pass a resolution urging Congress to pass the RECLAIM Act, strengthen the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, and protect miners' pensions.

Letcher County Local Resolution on Black Lung and RECLAIM Act, 2018

In the fall of 2018, the Letcher County was among nearly a dozen local governments to pass this local resolution calling on Congress to strengthen the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, pass the RECLAIM Act, and protect miners' pensions.

Rowan County Local Resolution on Black Lung and RECLAIM 2018

Rowan County was among nearly a dozen local governments to pass this local resolution in the fall of 2018, calling on members of Congress to strengthen the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, pass the RECLAIM Act, and protect miners' pensions.

Many Voices, Many Solutions: Innovative Mine Reclamation in Central Appalachia

This report was released in November 2018 by Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center, Appalachian Voices, Coalfield Development Corporation, Rural Action, and Downstream Strategies. It describes a range of projects supported by a federal pilot project that invests in reclaiming old mine sites and supporting innovative development projects in affected communities. 

KFTC Land Reform Committee Meeting

KFTC's Land Reform Committee is our statewide committee that guides KFTC's work to end harm to our land, water and people from extractive industries, including coal, oil and gas, timber, and more. Our meetings are open to all KFTC members. If you are interested in attending, please contact lisa@kftc.org.

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