Two miners died from health complications after an explosion at Revenue Mine in November 2013. When the Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) investigated the scene, it imposed more than $1 million in fines for negligent workplace safety practices.
On the day of the accident, crews at the underground silver mine detonated around 1,600 pounds of explosives. An explosion of that size would have released a large amount of carbon monoxide into the air, which can be harmful to miners.
Management failed to remove the explosives after the blast. When other crews arrived later, they were not informed about the detonation and they were allowed to access the blast site, which should have been cordoned off.
That evening, at least three workers became ill and retreated from the mine complaining of “bad air.” Sadly, management made no attempts to identify or correct the danger.
How Dangerous Is Carbon Monoxide?
The following morning, two members of the day-shift crew entered the mine and collapsed, overcome by the carbon monoxide fumes. At least 20 workers were exposed to the harmful gas while trying to rescue the stranded miners .
Tragically, the two men died, and seven other workers had to be hospitalized. When MSHA conducted its follow-up investigation, it determined that the explosives were detonated in an area of the mine without ventilation, causing the carbon monoxide buildup.
Site supervisors failed to conduct a post-blast investigation or dispose of the explosives after the blast. Management should have acted quickly when the first miners reported feeling ill, but they chose to put productivity over their workers’ health.
I Was Injured in a Mining Accident! What Are My Legal Options?
Employers are responsible for the health and safety of their workplace. If your employer’s negligence caused your injuries, you may have more legal options than you know.
To discuss your workplace injury, schedule a free consultation with an attorney at Metier Law Firm today. For more information about our attorneys and community involvement, follow the firm on Facebook or Twitter.
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