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Spate of fatal accidents lead to stepped up mine inspections

The Mine Safety and Health Administration has announced that safety inspection efforts are being stepped up in Minnesota and around the country. The announcement follows a series of fatal mine and quarry accidents on August 3. A burst silo at a gravel and sand mine in northern Virginia killed a plant operator, a miner working underground at a Nevada facility was struck and killed by mining equipment and a worker lost his life in North Dakota after being engulfed by a stockpile.

According to the federal safety agency, the three accidents made August 3 the deadliest day the mining industry has seen since 2002. An MSHA representative said that inspectors would be paying particular attention to the kinds of violation that have led to fatal workplace accidents in the past. The representative continued to say that inspectors would be discussing safety measures and accident risks with mine and quarry workers and operators to find out more about safety procedures and suggest possible improvements.

According to MSHA records, the Virginia facility where the plant operator was killed has a record of safety violations. The agency says that the stone quarry was cited twice in the months preceding the August 3 deadly accident. The first citation was handed because rocks that were partially covering a walkway had not been removed, and a truck driver was cited for not properly checking vehicle safety systems.

Minnesota workers injured or exposed to toxic substances while on the job are often unable to work for prolonged periods. The state's workers' compensation program is designed to provide them with financial assistance during this difficult time, but the application process can be complex and confusing. An attorney with workers' compensation experience could assist injured workers with their claims to ensure that they apply for all of the benefits that they may be entitled to.

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Law Office of David M. Bialke
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