Coal mining has always been a hazardous job. Coal mines are filled with hazards that pose life threatening risks to the miners such as methane gas or powerful machinery that tears away at coal seams with great speed and power. The union that represents coal miners in the United States, the United Mine Workers of America engaged in many back-and-forth battles with the government and mine operators in order to have mandated guidelines that would keep coal miners safe. Legislation meant for miner safety before 1969 would not fully work to protect miners as disaster after disaster occurred throught the first half of the 20th century. However, everything would change when there was a massive explosion at the Consolidated Coal Company No.9 min in Farmington, West Virginia. This tragic disaster that would leave seventy-eight miners dead, would spark a movement where coal mine health and safety would be rethought and new regulations would be inacted in comprehensive reform as a part of the Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969. Following the passage of this act, miners would see their working conditions improve and also see Black Lung Disease be recognized as an occupational hazard and would see benefits come into their possession.
Swales, William, "Fire in the Hole: The United Mine Workers of America and Their Struggle Against the State and Mine Operators in Gaining Comprehensive Health and Safety Regulations" (2018). Senior Independent Study Theses. Paper 8003.
Coal Mining, UMWA
Bachelor of Arts
Senior Independent Study Thesis
© Copyright 2018 William Swales