The British Coal Authority’s ‘Production & Manpower Returns’ for 2012 (January to December), reveals that during this period, 2,450 workers were employed by 33 surface mining sites, while 16 underground mines employed 3,754 workers. This makes for a total of 6,193 mining industry workers at 49 sites across the UK.
Dept. of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) figures
These figures do, however, differ slightly from figures revealed by the DECC data set ‘Historical Coal Data: Coal Production, 1853 – 2012’ (last updated in July 2013), which lists totals of 44 mines (10 underground and 34 surface mines) and 6,000 employees for the end of 2012.
The decline in British mining
Unfortunately, more recent figures do not seem to be available. Considering the decline of the UK’s mining industry, it is, however, likely that figures for 2013/14 will be lower still. In the last decade alone, the total numbers of British mines and workers dropped from 70 and 10,000 respectively in 1992 to the figures shown above. The one thing that has remained constant over this period is the ever-present risk of workers being injured or killed in mining accidents.
Disastrous accidents at work
Collapsing roofs or walls, explosions, fires and floods still have the potential to simultaneously threaten the lives of large numbers of people, as events reported in the Health & Safety Executive’s news pages (mining category) clearly show. According to these reports, accidents in British mines between 2006 and 2011 alone claimed the lives of a minimum of seven miners, while countless others had to be evacuated from mines and/or were injured in mining related accidents.
Work accidents in mines
Often exposed to fumes and dust, many miners develop long-term industrial diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Others suffer repetitive strain injuries and conditions like vibration white finger caused by repeatedly working for prolonged periods with heavily vibrating equipment or working in awkward positions for long periods. Injuries by electrocution are also fairly common, as are manual handling injuries to miners’ backs.
If you were injured while working in a mine or developed an occupational disease, you may be entitled to industrial injury compensation. Accident Advice Helpline has assisted injured miners in getting the compensation they are entitled to for more than 15 years. Offering assistance by specialised lawyers, this law firm operates on a no win no fee basis. Give them a call to get your compensation claim initiated today on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile.
Date Published: March 12, 2014
Author: David Brown