While South Carolina contains very few coal reserves, the mining industry can be incredibly dangerous. As such, every person involved in the industry, from workers to CEO’s, should be concerned about health and safety to ensure that everyone gets to go home at the end of each workday.

As such, the Mine Safety and Health Administration has been working since 1978 to help prevent death, injuries and illnesses while providing resources for keeping the workplace as safe and healthy as possible. Further, the MSHA helps enforce the Mine Act of 1977 by inspecting every mine four times each year. In 2016, it was reported that there were 12 deaths, a vast improvement over the more than 300 fatalities during the year that the act went into effect.

When the current assistant secretary of labor was nominated by former President Barack Obama in 2009, he noted that there needed to be more effective communication among all parties involved in the mining industry, including the organization itself and the stakeholders. In 2009, MSHA launched a campaign called End Black Lung Disease to reduce mine dust. Under this campaign, MSHA added more inspections and particularly targeted the mines that were problematic. As of 2016, there were no mines that were identified as “chronic violators.”

Although there are organizations working to make mines safer, accidents can still occur. Those who are injured may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. A workers’ compensation attorney may assist with filing the required claim and could advocate on behalf of an injured worker it it is disputed or denied.