Workers and employees of the mine industry understand the dangers that are inherent with their jobs. Thankfully, employees do not need to worry about being left high and dry if they are inured or disabled on the job, thanks to state-mandated workers' compensation benefits. These benefits are available to employees who suffer from workplace injuries and the compensation helps pay for medical costs related to the injury.
Not all workplace accidents necessitate filing a workers' comp claim, but it is at least available as an option. In a recent coal mining accident in Perry County, Ohio, the injuries of five workers are being reported as minor and it is unclear whether any of the employees are filing a claim.
As the US Department of Labor Mine Safety and Health Administration (Department) reported, an accident occurred that resulted in five workers being sent to the hospital. All five have since been released and the Department is not pursuing a formal investigation into the incident.
According to a mine safety supervisor who works at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the employees at the mine should not be afraid for their safety. This vote of confidence comes even with federal records of the mine indicating 81 citations this year and $10,000 in proposed penalties.
The initial report suggests that the accident occurred as a result of dispatch error. Apparently a dispatcher authorized a large track vehicle into the mine before ensuring that a smaller vehicle was not in its path.
In addition to potential workers' comp claim, if the dispatch service and mine operators are not part of the same company, the injured workers may have a third-party claim. This type of claim imitates a personal injury case and a negligent non-coworker may be liable for damages resulting from the injuries.
Source: WOUB Public Media, "Perry Co. Mining Accident Considered "Minor"," Andrew Fowler, Sept. 25, 2012