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When workplace accidents affect miners and families

Workplaces accidents can happen in any line of work, but it may be especially prevalent in the mining industry.West Virginiaminers face the risk of bodily harm every day simply because of the nature of their employment, but that does not mean that they must suffer alone regarding workplace accidents. Federal laws and regulations grant certain rights to miners through The Mine Act and the MINER Act.

A better understanding of these laws can informa West Virginiaminer of what should be expected from an employer regarding workplace safety and what should be done after an accident. Anyone who works at a mine, no matter his or her actual role, has rights under these Acts. For instance, an employee can report a dangerous work environment and is entitled to seek assistance after an accident.

The MINER Act and The Mine Act also allow an employee to file for a transfer if he or she has been exposed to harmful chemical agents. A worker may request testing if he or she is susceptible to or at risk for any type of respiratory illness. A worker also has the right to refuse a job activity for which proper training was not given.

If a West Virginia miner has contracted an illness or was injured while working in a mine, there are benefits available to compensate for medical expenses and lost wages. When the inherent rights of miners have been denied or an injured miner needs help after an accident, it is best to seek help from a strong legal ally. When workplace accidents leave a person injured or a family grieving the loss of a loved one, it is typically beneficial and important to seek this assistance promptly.

Source: msha.gov, "Miners' Rights and Responsibilities", Dec. 31, 2014

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