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Last few months of 2013 suggest need for better mining safety

Colorado has a rich mining history, and mining continues to be an important economic industry in the state today. Therefore, a workplace safety report about mining in particular should serve as a reminder to employers and workers in the state that they must be vigilant to prevent mining accidents.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration collects work injury and fatality data of the mining field annually, and though 2013 started off in a positive trend, it ended on a negative note. More mining workers died in workplace accidents last year than in 2012.

As within any industry, safety officials want to see a downward trend of work injuries and losses. With six more worker fatalities last year than in the year before, those in the mining industry, including in Colorado, have some safety improvements to work on.

Mining work does have its own dangers, dangers that employers and workers should understand before any work is done. It is not enough to just understand the dangers and accept injuries as part of the job. There are simple, important precautions that must be in place to protect workers from the dangers of their job.

Proper, ongoing training is crucial to avoid work accidents. Miners must have adequate safety gear to protect them from common workplace injuries and illnesses that result in mining work. Critical injuries not only take place while in the mines; the MSHA reports that several fatal work accidents took place above-ground.

Someone who has been injured in a Colorado mine or other work accident should talk to a workers' compensation lawyer to try to find some guidance during what is likely a confusing and stressful situation.

Source: EHS Today, "Mining Deaths Tick Higher in 2013 After Rough Fourth Quarter," Josh Cable, Jan. 7, 2014

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