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Fatal Southern Illinois mining accident reminder of safety need

Mining would fall into the category of a job that comes with a more hazardous workplace than an office job might. The fact that miners go to a workplace every day that is in itself atypical is only the start of what classifies this as a more risky job, let alone the fact that hazardous materials and heavy equipment are used.

While this workplace itself may be considered a little more dangerous, it only heightens the need to pay attention to safety and follow the rules and regulations set out under state and federal law. Because when these standards fall, the results of a workplace accident can be very serious for the injured worker and their family -- as seen in a recent accident in Southern Illinois.

The Wildcat Hills Mine opened in Saline County about seven years ago. Since then, a number of employees have worked there with a current staff of about 200 employees. It was one employee who brought the safety of the entire crew to the attention of Illinois authorities this week when what was described as a "coal haulage incident" took his life.

The man is a 35-year-old coal miner who was killed on Tuesday afternoon when he was working near an underground ventilation curtain when a ram car struck him. 

Authorities will continue to investigate the incident to determine not only the exact details of what happened but why they happened. The results of their investigation will help determine whether something could have been done to prevent the accident and whether or not further action should be taken. 

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Coal miner killed in accident in southern Illinois," July 3, 2013

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