Pennsylvania and federal authorities are investigating an accident at a Greene County coal mine that sent one worker to the hospital. A 35-year-old contractor was injured on the job when an empty rock dust platform fell off its supply car and landed on him, crushing him below the waist. The worker suffered a fractured pelvis and internal bleeding and was transported to a Morgantown hospital for surgery. The injuries are believed to be non-life-threatening.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is working with officials from the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration to investigate the workplace accident. The mine is owned by Consol Energy Inc., and the injured worker is employed by GMS, a mine repair and maintenance contractor. Officials from both companies are participating in the investigation. Mining operations are continuing during the investigation because the accident occurred in an idle area of the mine.

This workplace accident illustrates the risks faced by workers in dangerous occupations such as coal mining that require working with and around heavy equipment. A mine worker who suffers a workplace injury may face a long hospital stay, significant medical treatment, substantial rehabilitation and a lengthy period of recuperation. The Pennsylvania workers’ compensation law is designed to assist injured workers by covering their medical expenses and lost wages as they recover from their injuries. In addition, the law may provide compensation for any permanent or partial disability resulting from the injury.

As with any worker who is injured on the job, the injured mine worker in this case may benefit by seeking the advice of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. The attorney can provide the worker with important information about the benefits to which the worker may be entitled and assist with the sometimes complicated process of making a claim.

Source: TribLive, “Man hurt in Greene County mine accident,” Timothy Puko, Aug. 12, 2013

Source: The Republic, “State environmental official: Worker crushed below waist at Consol mine in southwestern Pa.”, August 12, 2013