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Inexperience could be hazardous in coal mines

For Oklahoma miners, a lack of training and a lack of experience can lead to serious injuries or death. According to a division of the Mine Safety and Health Administration, six of seven coal miners who have died in 2017 were at their current workplaces for less than a year. Furthermore, five of those workers had less than a year of experience in their current roles at the time of their death.

One man died when he hit his head on a mine roof or roof support while riding in a supply locomotive. Another died when he made contact with a conveyor belt safety guard drive. At the time of his death, the man was positioned between the conveyor belt and the safety guard drive. According to a representative from the agency, an initiative will begin that seeks to determine if there are issues with how workers are trained.

Workplace accidents can result in serious injuries. In some cases, an injured worker may never fully heal or be able to return to work. Most employers are required to carry workers' compensation insurance coverage, and the benefits available thereunder can cover medical bills and provide a portion of any wages that are lost.

Workers' compensation benefits may also be extended to the families of those who are killed in a workplace accident. Death benefits may help the worker's family pay their bills or cover a loved one's final expenses. If a death was caused by employer negligence, an attorney could evaluate the likelihood of success of a lawsuit against the employer, as the acceptance of workers' compensation benefits precludes a separate lawsuit.

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