“It takes less time to do a thing right than to explain why you did it wrong.”
With cooler days on the horizon, October is often the month that mines begin annual shutdown activities, ranging from disassembling of portable plants and relocation of equipment to, for mines that operate full time, annual repairs. Unfortunately, October is also a month of high fatalities in the metal and nonmetal mining industry. This year, MSHA has launched an initiative to help combat the historically high death rates that occur during the month of October. The initiative includes enhanced enforcement and education and outreach, such as informational “walk and talks” at mine sites. Coal enforcement and personnel from MSHA’s Educational Field and Small Mines Services will assist in these activities by talking to mine operators and miners and calling attention to potentially hazardous tasks and conditions and best mining practices.
Best practices include:
- Identifying hazards through effective workplace exams
- Controlling hazards through a detailed work plan
- Providing effective task training based on the work plan
- Locking out and blocking equipment against hazardous motion
- Providing necessary PPE
For more information, check out this article.
Mining-related accidents can lead to complex lawsuits that require the retention of multiple mining expert witnesses. When it comes time to litigate these lawsuits, there are two common scenarios in which a mining expert witness may be sought. The first scenario is one in which an MSHA inspector issues a mine operator a citation, and a mining expert witness is needed to contest that inspector’s findings in an administrative proceeding to dispute the citation and penalty fine. The other scenario is when a worker is severely injured and seeks recovery for the damages.
Catamount Consulting’s mine operation and safety expert Scott McKenna insists that “the single most important thing a MSHA expert needs to do is to read and know the regulations, inside and out. This is because things in this industry turn on words and clauses in regulations. In other words, the devil is in the details.”
Learn what experts in specific practice areas have to say in the following eight areas of importance when litigating in a mining-related accident case:
- Mind Your Miners
- Define Your Battle Grounds
- The World of Damages
- Learn From Your Expert Witness
- Know the Nuances in the Law
- Administrative Proceedings
- Teaching Over Talking
- Technology is Your Friend