An investigation into a recent coal mining death has concluded that the emergency stop on a mining machine that was remote controlled was overridden by a miner causing his death. The investigation also found that the warning lights on the machine weren't working and may have contributed to the West Virginia coal mining accident. The 32-year-old miner was killed when the machine he was working on pinned him against an underground wall.
Investigators of the Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training said the emergency stop override on the machine was operating when the miner was working in a restricted zone. That stopped the machine from detecting anyone wearing a safety monitor entering the "red zone" which would have shut the machine down. It was also found that the red and green driver lights did not alternate, which they should have been to show that the system was bypassed.
Investigators said no one should be standing beside these machines when they're moving and should be at least four feet outside the deemed red zone. The report also suggested that the stop override function wasn't used for its designed purpose, but instead was being used to reposition mining machines that are continuously operating. The deceased miner had 10 years of operating experience.
Those injured in a coal mining accident have the right to turn to a West Virginia attorney for guidance in pursuing compensation for injuries suffered. Similarly, the family of miners killed in mining accidents might want to discuss the issues surrounding the death with an attorney. He or she will review any evidence and advise clients on how to proceed in the compensation process.
Source: heraldcourier.com, "Investigators: Safety stop off in West Virginia miner death", Michael Virtanen, Sept. 27, 2017