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Coal Mine Disasters: Lessons Learned

On September 13, 2012, West Virginia mineworker William Mock was killed when a section of the roof of the mine in which he was working struck him on the head. Mining companies and their gas and coal industry defense attorneys in West Virginia are looking at the findings of the incident to learn what risk management lessons can be gleaned to avoid future accidents and ensure that they are fully prepared for any situation.

The incident, which occurred in a Consol Energy Blacksville Mine in Monongalia County, was investigated by the Mine Safety and Health Administration. The investigation concluded that Mr. Mock’s death was caused by a series of management failures. Tragically, it appears from the report that Mr. Mock’s death could have been avoided by placing greater emphasis on appropriate staff training, supervision by more experienced or specialist workers and safer work policies.

What can our gas and coal industry clients learn from this tragic event?

  • Make sure that your risk management procedures are up to date
  • Confirm that your liability insurance coverage is extensive enough
  • Find and track changing environmental circumstances that may affect your mining operation
  • Be aware of applicable changes in legislation
  • Provide your staff with up to date relevant training
  • Make certain that your employees’ training records are up to date

The attorneys at Pullin, Fowler, Flanagan, Brown & Poe handle gas and coal industry defense in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia. We handle complex litigation defense. We also advise our clients on risk management policies to help avoid accidents or mitigate their effect.  Contact us today to see how we can help you with risk management or a health and safety review.

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