Mine safety is a topic which is close to home for many of our West Virginia readers. Mining is an important part of this state’s economy, and ensuring the safety of mine workers is important for the integrity of the industry. National Public Radio recently ran a story about the state of safety in mining operations nationwide, and from the looks of it, there is definitely room for improvement.
The story detailed the findings of a joint NPR and Mine Safety and Health News investigation, which looked at 20 years of federal mine data. The data showed that there are currently 2,700 mining companies which have avoided paying tens of millions of dollars in penalties for failure to abide by federal safety standards. Interestingly, the data showed that mines which do not pay their penalties have more worker injuries than mines which do pay their penalties.