Jainchill & Beckert, LLC

Injury risk rises for inexperienced miners working long hours

Mining activities in Connecticut present many workplace hazards due to the nature of the job. A new research study that analyzed over 500,000 injury reports from the Mine Safety and Health Administration concluded that long work hours and employees with limited experience exacerbated the risks to extraction workers.

University researchers studied reports spanning the years 1983 to 2015. Injured employees working shifts of nine hours or longer accounted for 9.6% of accident injuries. In 1983, the rate of accidents for people clocked in for at least nine hours was 5.5%. By 2015, workers on long shifts sustained 13.9% of the injuries. The chances of dying on the job increased by 32% for workers on these long shifts. Additionally, people working long hours were associated with a 73% greater chance of involvement in accidents that resulted in injuries.

Other risk factors that worsened safety for workers during long shifts included irregular schedules, inconsistent work duties and specific high-risk tasks. Employees with under two years of experience also were more prone to accidents and injuries. The lead author of the study criticized current mining management practices that were trending toward longer work hours and the use of contract workers instead of permanent employees.

A person working for an organization that does not make safety a priority might need legal assistance after a workplace accident. The employer or its insurer might seek to deny a claim or limit the payment of workers' compensation, but an attorney could challenge unfair treatment. An attorney could investigate available benefits and connect the person with an independent medical evaluation. High-stakes cases involving substantial medical bills, like those caused by crush injuries or neck injuries, might benefit from an attorney's efforts to secure a settlement. This might require filing a lawsuit in especially contentious cases.

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