“Suffocating While Alive” The Return of Black Lung

Mine worker dust black lung

Howard Berkes has published a major investigative piece for NPR/Frontline on the resurgence of black lung among coal miners. Read it or better yet, listen to it. Berkes puts most of the blame on failures of the Mine Safety and Health Administration, but is who is really at fault, the regulatory agency or the mine owners? Continue Reading

Death on the Job: 2017 Fatality Numbers Released


The Bureau of Labor Statistics today released its 2017 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries — and it contained good news and bad news.  The good news is that workplace fatalities fell slightly, less than 1% last year from 5,190 fatal injuries reported in 2016 to 5,147 last year. The fatality rate also declined slightly from 3.6 to…

Mine Workers Sue MSHA Over Lifting Enforcement Action

mine safety

Things have been somewhat quiet lately in the world of mine safety and health. We wrote earlier about the troubling rise in black lung cases, but thankfully mining fatalities are down slightly this year after they spiked last year.  In 2018, we’ve seen 9 coal mining deaths and 16 worker deaths in meal/non-metal mines.  Last…

This Day in History: Farmington Mine Explosion Kills 78 Miners

On November 20, 1968, 40 50 years ago today, 78 miners died in an explosion at the Consol No. 9 coal mine in Farmington, West Virginia. At 5:30 in the morning on November 20th, a huge explosion tore through Consolidation Coal’s Number Nine mine. The force of the blast could be felt for miles. There would…