Mine workers in Ohio are probably aware of the risks they face on the job. One of the fiercest of these is the risk for fires. The following are just some of the key concerns related to fires and what can be done to address them.
The risk for fires is largely controlled by whether employers have efficient ventilation and are monitoring the atmosphere for the presence of smoke and toxic gases, especially when produced by underground conveyor belts. That risk obviously goes up in the presence of methane, and the chances of workers being injured or killed in fires will increase if there are few evacuation routes.
First, it is essential that employees be trained on every point of fire safety, including what are the safest evacuation routes and how to use fire safety equipment. The equipment can range from handheld gas detection units to fire-fighting packs.
As for ventilation, employers can consider ventilation on demand, which can direct clean air to those areas where sensors detect machinery and workers rather than to unoccupied areas. One company, Carroll Technologies, offers numerous fire safety devices, including foam packs and self-contained self-rescuers. It even offers a monitoring device for belts and heavy machinery; it can measure not only the presence of dust but also the risk for equipment breakage.
Under workers' compensation law, employees who are injured on the job or who develop a condition arising from repeated exposure to unsafe elements at work can be eligible for benefits. These benefits can cover all medical expenses, including the cost of treatments and prescriptions, and a portion of the wages lost during victims' physical recovery. They may even compensate workers whose disability prevents them from working to their full capacity. A lawyer may explain the filing process in detail.