Even when a work environment has good safety records, an accident can still occur and injure or even kill workers. Just recently, the Revenue-Virginius mine in Ouray, a mine that has never had a fatal accident, was the location of two miner deaths.
The Mine Safety and Health Administration is still investigating this past weekend’s incident but has provided some information regarding what happened. An explosion had occurred in one area of the mine and when one worker did not return, the foreman went after him. Neither men survived; more than a dozen other workers were hospitalized due to carbon monoxide exposure.
While this is the first report of a fatal accident at the Revenue-Virginius mine, the mine has received a number of violations in the past. In fact, those violations included failure to properly train miners on safe exit strategy.
And while that may not seem like an important fact, it is likely part of the consideration for the current ongoing investigation. Preliminary reports show that there may not have been proper ventilation after the mine explosion. There is also a concern that minors may not have been properly equipped to handle exposure to harmful gases.
The owner of the mine made it very clear that his company prioritizes the safety of the miners. And while the company has been issued safety citations in the past, it doesn’t seem like the violations were related to the issues in the current investigation.
It is unclear when the investigation will conclude. But hopefully the injured workers and the families of the workers who were killed get some answers.
Source: OPB.org, “Details Emerge About Colorado Mine Accident And Safety Record,” NPR, Nov. 18, 2013.