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  • Writer's pictureJohn Larrimer

Can Sensors Help Prevent Coal Miner Injuries in Ohio?

Ohio coal miners can breathe a little bit easier now that the federal government requires all coal digging machines to incorporate sensors to cut off power if the machine comes too close to a person. Automated mining machines have been used since the middle of the 20th century to increase the efficiency of coal mining, increasing the yield of coal while keeping workers out of cramped, potentially dangerous quarters.

The machines themselves, while incredibly efficient at mining coal, weigh 60 tons and use a spinning drum covered in sharp teeth to cut into coal. Because of this, sometimes they pose an increased danger to miners.

Since 1984, 35 miners have been killed in fatal workplace accidents by the machines in the United States. By placing sensors on them, coal miners will have less to worry about when an automatic mining machine starts up nearby.

The change should positively affect coal miner injury rates in the state of Ohio. Ohio is located in the Appalachian Coal Basin, which is one of the largest coal fields in the US, and the state has been an important resource in coal production since the Industrial Revolution.

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Did You Know? With an estimated 3,242 deaths, 1907 was the deadliest year in US coal mining history, according to the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC—Columbus Workers’ Comp Attorneys

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