In November of 2012, a 30-year-old contract driller with six years of experience was killed in a machinery accident in New York. He was contracted at the Northeast Solite Corporation’s Mount Marion Pit and Mill when he was attempting to thread a new drill steel manually with the use of a strap. The drill head was rotating and entangled him. This came to be known as the 17th fatality reported in the 2012 calendar year in the metal and non-metal mining industries.
Inadequate Training and Unsafe Working Conditions
The work that the men at Mount Marion Pit and Mill conduct can sometimes be dangerous in nature. Their work involves drilling blast holes and packing them with explosives. When detonation occurs, the men load the material into haul trucks and it is taken to a processing plant. On the even of the trial between the contractor in charge and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration, North American Quarry and Construction Services decided that they were going to settle the case. They accepted to pay $360,000 in penalties and accept negligence violations based on reckless repeated behavior that caused a death in the workplace. The contractor’s foreman also agreed to pay $6,000 in penalties because the way he trained the deceased worker may have contributed to the accident.
Because of the trial, it was found through investigations that the company had operated unsafely for years. It was discovered that the company intentionally removed an emergency stop-switch from the drill before the accident occurred. The company also assigned the driller to work alone without communication to others, which could have contributed to the accident because he did not have any help.
Jeffrey S. Rogoff, a regional solicitor for the department in New York, stated, “Miners should not have to risk their lives to earn a living. This case demonstrates how important it is to train miners for the hazardous tasks they are assigned to perform.”
Unfortunately for many workers every year as well as those in the dangerous mining industry, accidents lead to injuries and fatalities on a yearly basis. If you have been injured through a mining accident and you believe negligence was at play, you may have a case. Call an experienced personal injury attorney at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi today to find out how we can help you.