Workers’ safety is one of the primary concerns for authorities in the United States, including here in Pennsylvania. There are different safety needs for different industries. State and federal governments have been making laws and updating them so that these laws remain relevant with the changing time and protect the interests of workers.
The mining industry is one such industry where authorities’ efforts have resulted in safer working condition workers than years back when mining accidents and workplace injury were very common. With the strict implementation of laws regarding miners’ safety, the U.S. mining industry is safer today than ever before and there have been fewer instances of miners getting fatally injured on the job in recent years.
The Mine Safety and Health Administration, or MSHA, is the agency that works for miners’ safety through a variety of activities. It conducts on-site mine safety as well as health inspections for miners. It is also responsible for enforcing miners’ rights under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977. Among these rights are filing a complaint for a danger that may put their health and safety at risk, refusing to work in unsafe or unhealthy conditions, withdrawing from work if not given health and safety training, and seeking medical evaluation and transfer.
MSHA encourages miners to report any safety and health hazard that is not being addressed by the mining company or operator or any violations in the workplace that can pose a serious threat to the safety and health of workers. A miner can also contact MSHA anonymously or call them up to report any workplace health and safety hazards. After receiving the complaint, a MSHA inspector will visit and inspect whether there is an unsafe working environment and whether there is any violation of any law that protects the health and safety interests of miners.
Source: MSHA.gov, “Newly Hired to Work at a Mine Site?,” accessed on Jan. 21, 2015