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Worker deaths prompt response from MSHA

Tennessee employees may be interested in learning more about a series of incidents that compelled the Mine Safety and Health Administration to enhance their enforcement efforts. On Aug. 4, multiple employees were killed by unrelated workplace accidents that occurred in South Dakota, Nevada and Northern Virginia. According to the MSHA's assistant secretary of labor, during the past month, there have been five deaths in the nonmetal and metal industries. There hadn't been three miner deaths in the same day from this sector since 2002.

An 18-year-old employee in Virginia died after a silo in a Front Royal quarry broke open and buried him under mineral filler. His body was discovered the next morning after authorities spent 24 hours removing debris in an attempt to search for and rescue him. MSHA responded by proclaiming that education, outreach and inspection efforts would be intensified going forward.

Increasing enforcement actions against mining violations is a part of this new referendum as well. Inspectors with federal agencies will make a more concerted effort to ensure that operators and miners are properly educated on prevention methods and the lethal risks associated with the job. The recently announced initiatives are designed to help reverse the deadly trend that seems to be developing in the mining sector.

Employees who suffer injuries at work typically benefit from confiding in a lawyer. Legal counsel may be prepared to investigate the workplace accident and help the injured victim decide on the best course of action going forward. Lawyers may be able to help injured workers obtain wage benefits and sufficient health care required by state and federal workers' compensation laws. In addition, legal counsel may be able to help determine whether the employer or another party can be found liable for the ensuing damages.

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