Common Mining Injuries
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Grant Lawson with Metier Law Firm.
Every workplace has some injuries which are more common than others. For example, office workers may develop carpal tunnel and warehouse workers may develop back injuries over time. However, mining provides a unique work environment with its own potential for unique injuries and conditions. The good news is that most workplaces including mining can be made reasonably safe with proper attention to safety both by management and employees.
When an injury occurs as the result of negligence in regard to safety protocol, the injured party may be eligible to seek compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and more via a personal injury claim. However, for injuries which occur unavoidably on the job, workers’ compensation benefits can help pay for some of the resulting damages. If you or a loved one were injured while working in a mine, reach out to a workplace injury attorney to discuss your options for physical and financial recovery.
Some of the most common mining injuries include the following:
- Hand and finger lacerations
- Hand and finger fractures
- Back sprains and strains
- Knee sprains and strains
- Shoulder sprains and strains
- Respiratory and lung conditions
- Eye injuries
Part of what makes mining an interesting field is that the risks associated with can vary greatly depending on what substance is being mined. Coal mines, for example, put workers at risk of developing a lung condition known as “black lung” without proper respiratory protection. Metal and stone mines, however, are more likely to put workers at risk of eye injuries without adequate protection.
Employers are required to provide and maintain adequate personal protective equipment for their workers.
Due to the nature of the work and equipment used in mining environments, safety is of utmost importance. Without properly working gear and adequate protective equipment, workers can suffer serious injuries. Employers are required not only to follow industry safety standards, but are also required to enforce industry and company-specific safety protocol with all employees. Failure to do so not only puts their miners at risk, but also opens them up to liability.
Workers’ compensation exists both to protect employers and offer a means of recovery to injured workers.
Workers’ compensation, commonly referred to as “workers’ comp” is a type of insurance employers are generally required to purchase for their own and their employees’ protection. When a worker is injured in the normal scope of their job, they can apply to their employer and/or human resources (HR) department to begin receiving workers’ comp benefits. These benefits will generally pay certain medical bills as well as help cover lost wages during the worker’s recovery period. In most cases, an employee receiving workers’ comp benefits cannot sue their employer for their injury unless the employer was negligent.
If negligence caused or contributed to the injury, an injured worker may have additional recovery options.
It’s important to note that if a miner’s injuries could have been prevented by proper attention to safety by either their employer or a third party, the miner may be eligible to file a personal injury or third party claim. A common example of situations in which a third party claim may be viable occurs when a company leases out defective equipment to another employer for their workers to use. However, it can be difficult to identify the potential for a personal injury or third party claim without the help of a workplace injury attorney. It’s important to refrain from giving your employer a statement about the injury if you suspect they may have been partially to blame. First, contact a workplace injury attorney to discuss your options or for help filing a claim.