Pennsylvania coal, oil workers face many risks

Coal mining and natural gas drilling operations are very common in Pennsylvania. There are more than 43,000 active gas wells in the state, along with 39 underground mines and 377 surface mining sites in Pennsylvania, according to the Department of Environmental Protection. These sites require many workers who put their lives at risk every day on-the-job.

Working in the coal mining and gas drilling industries can be very dangerous due to the type of work required to operate these sites. We've all heard reports on coal mining accidents as well as accidents at natural gas well sites, showing just how dangerous these sites can be. 

Workers in Pennsylvania should understand the risks they face when they are working in coal mines or drilling for natural gas. Both of these occupations carry a high risk for injuries, which can be fatal. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration monitors the gas and coal industries along with several other federal agencies that work to prevent workplace accidents and injuries. 

Despite the federal regulations companies are supposed to follow, many accidents and injuries happen in these industries all the time. Part of this is due to the hazards these workers face and if workers are not properly trained on how to manage hazards, they are more likely to get hurt. Another reason is because some companies fail to follow strict safety regulations and procedures designed to keep workers safe. 

Injuries in the coal mining industry and gas drilling industry can be very serious and even fatal. That is why it is important for companies to make sure they understand the risks and take steps to prevent accidents in the workplace. OSHA and other agencies are also supposed to inspect and enforce safety policies to keep workers safe. 

Workers in these industries need to be aware of the risks they face and make sure they are reporting safety hazards and violations to keep everyone safe. Companies can also be held liable for accidents and injuries caused by their failure to train workers or provide a safe working environment.

Source: Herald-Standard, "Mining has longer history of safety standards than gas drilling," Susy Kelly, Feb. 21, 2014

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